The White House has warned that the US is ready to use the “full range” of capabilities at its disposal and might resort to using its nuclear arsenal against North Korea if it continues to threaten Washington or its allies.
On Sunday, President Trump again called Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe by telephone to reaffirm Washington's commitments to its allies in the region.
“President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal,” the White House said in a statement.
Both leaders have condemned North Korea’s nuclear test and called Pyongyang's behavior “destabilizing and provocative actions.”
Trump has also “confirmed the two countries' ironclad mutual defense commitments, and pledged to continue close cooperation,” the statement read.
In a series of tweets Sunday, Trump branded North Korea a “rogue nation and a threat.” The latest development in Pyongyang’s nuclear capabilities are “very hostile and dangerous to the United States,” the US president said.
Following the tweets, Trump held a meeting with his chief of staff, Gen. John Kelly, and Defense Secretary James Mattis at the White House to discuss an appropriate response to the North Korean hydrogen bomb test.
Mattis later warned that any attack on the United States or its allies would be met with a “massive military response.” He noted that while the US was not “looking for the total annihilation” of North Korea, it had “many options to do so.”
“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response – a response both effective and overwhelming,” Mattis said.