September 05, 2017 10:33
The U.S. on Monday warned of "a massive military response" to North Korea's nuclear test or what it claimed was a hydrogen bomb. It also mooted a wholesale secondary boycott of countries that are doing business with the North as a way to put pressure on Pyongyang.
Emerging from an urgent National Security Council meeting at the White House on Sunday, U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters, "Any threat to the United States, or its territories…or our allies will be met with a massive military response -- a response both effective and overwhelming."
"We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea," he added. "But, as I said, we have many options to do so." He was accompanied by Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford.
Mattis also said, "We have many military options, and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them."
The meeting was attended by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Mattis, Dunford, and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. When reporters asked that morning if he had plans to attack the North, U.S. President Donald Trump answered, "We'll see."
Washington also mooted an economic blockade of Pyongyang. Trump tweeted, "The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea."
A major target would be China, which opposes stopping crude oil shipments to the North, though this is probably not feasible given the extent to which America depends on business with China.
U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin told "Fox News Sunday" that he is preparing a sanctions package that would cut off "all trade and other business" with North Korea.
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