U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has asserted that any further nuclear aggression from North Korea will be met with a full-scale military response. The warning arrived after the Kim Jong-un regime reportedly tested a hydrogen bomb.
On Sept. 3, North Korean media announced that the Kim regime had successfully tested a hydrogen bomb in an underground test site. The Kim regime asserted that it had the capability to fix the weapon onto an intercontinental ballistic missile.
White House officials met to discuss their strategy toward North Korea in light of the nuclear test. Mattis announced from the White House lawn that any further provocation would be met with military force.
"Our commitment among the allies are ironclad," Mattis said outside the White House, according to CNN. "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 added: "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."
David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security was skeptical that the Kim regime had successfully tested an actual hydrogen bomb but noted that their latest test yielded a more devastating blast than previous attempts.
"The size of the seismic signal of the recent test suggests a significantly higher explosive yield than the fifth test," Albright told The New York Times. "Getting this high of a yield would likely require thermonuclear material in the device."
Albright added that he was "skeptical that this design has been miniaturized to fit reliably on a ballistic missile."
The international community roundly condemned the Kim regime's latest weapons test.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe released a statement warning that the North Korean nuclear program "has entered a new level of threat -- more grave and imminent -- against Japan's national security and seriously undermines the peace and security of the region as well as the international community."
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's office released a statement calling for greater global cooperation to cool down tensions with the Kim regime.
"We have experienced an internecine war and can never tolerate another catastrophic war on this land," the statement read. "We will not give up our goal of working together with allies to seek a peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."
The Chinese Foreign Ministry released a statement urging North Korea "to face up to the firm will of the international community on the denuclearization of the peninsula ... stop taking wrong actions that exacerbate the situation and are not in its own interest, and return to the track of resolving the issue through dialogue."
On Setp. 4, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley asserted that the U.S. was prepared to take military action against North Korea if international sanctions did not deter the Kim regime.
"Enough is enough," Haley said before the UN Security Council, according to NPR. "War is never something the United States wants. We don't want it now. But our country's patience is not unlimited ... Despite our efforts the North Korea nuclear program is more advanced and more dangerous than ever. We must adopt the strongest possible measures."