(KMSP) - The communist regime in North Korea conducted its sixth nuclear test overnight, claiming to have tested a hydrogen bomb that can be attached to an intercontinental ballistic missile.
Now, the Trump administration pledges to take action if the U.S. or our allies are threatened.
The National Security team met this afternoon, and the U.N. Security Council will meet tomorrow morning as leaders around the world consider how to respond to North Korea's latest provocation.
North Korean state television was almost jubilant in announcing what the regime calls a successful test of a hydrogen bomb. Experts say it is many times more powerful than the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan in World War II.
“We have many military options, and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them,” said Defense Sec. Mattis. “We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan, from any attack.”
The Trump administration is also considering more sanctions.
“We've already started with sanctions against North Korea, and I'm going to draft a sanctions package to send to the president for his strong consideration, that anybody that wants to do trade or business with them would be prevented from doing trade or business with us,” Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday.
The heightened tensions with North Korea come as Congress returns to Washington after Labor Day, with Senator Amy Klobuchar among those urging caution.
“We can't do this alone, we have to be working with them, to see if there's any kind of negotiated solution, short of going in there preemptively and then causing millions of people in another country to die,” she said.
But Mattis says if diplomacy fails, everything is on the table.
"We're not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,” he said. “But, as I said, we have many options to do so.”
Trump is also weighing whether to pull out of a free trade deal with South Korea, which Klobuchar says would be a mistake at this juncture.
She expects members of congress to receive another briefing on the Korea situation as soon as this week.