United States Defense Secretary, James Mattis, warned on Sunday that North Korea can expect a “massive military response” for pushing the country to the edge.
It re-echoed its warning following North Korea’s latest threat against US territory of Guam and other America’s allies.
White House said the president emphasized the range of retaliatory measures available to the US, including nuclear weapons, in a conversation earlier with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Mattis, Trump and the president’s top advisers met at the White House Sunday about North Korea’s announced hydrogen bomb test.
The Pentagon chief told reporters that the US is not looking for the “total annihilation” of North Korea, but “we have many options to do so.”
“Secretary Mattis expressed the only viable option in his statement, which is a firm and clear deterrent policy toward North Korea,” said Hoover Institution Fellow Michael Auslin.
Auslin, however, told VOA the goal of North Korea’s denuclearization, which Mattis also repeated Sunday, is unrealizable.
“Continuing to insist on denuclearization means further rounds of negotiations, and the past quarter-century has shown that negotiations do not work,” he says.
“The Trump administration has the opportunity to chart a new, more realistic course for US policy, but not if it adopts the failed policies and goals of previous administrations.”