Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday said the U.S. has "many options" to annihilate North Korea, a day after the regime of Kim Jung Un claimed it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb that could be fitted on an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country – namely, North Korea. But, as I said, we have many options to do so," Mattis said during short briefing to reporters on Sunday at the White House in which he appeared alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Joseph Dunford.
The defense secretary spoke after a briefing with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence on the "many" military options that could be used to retaliate against North Korea
Here's the prepared statement from Mattis in full:
"We had a small group national security meeting with the President and the Vice President to discuss the latest provocation on the Korean peninsula. We have many military options, and the President wanted a briefing on each of them. We have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies – South Korea and Japan – from an attack. Our commitments are ironclad. 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. Kim Jong Un should take heed of the United Nations Security Council’s unified voice – all members unanimously agreed on the threat North Korea poses, and remain unanimous in their commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula – because we are not looking to the total annihilation of a country – namely, North Korea. But, as I said, we have many options to do so."North Korea claims it tested a hydrogen bomb with a yield of 100 kilotons -- several times more powerful than the U.S. bomb dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in 1945. The regime's sixth nuclear test was apparently successful after a magnitude 6.3 earthquake was detected in the North.