Defense Secretary James Mattis gave a brief statement to reporters on Sunday afternoon after huddling with President Donald Trump on options for responding to North Korea’s latest nuclear test.
“We have many military options and the president wanted to be briefed on each one of them,” Mattis said. “We made clear that we have the ability to defend ourselves and our allies, South Korea and Japan, from any attack.”
Mattis spoke at the White House after meeting with Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and other members of Trump’s national security team. He was joined at the podium by Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joe Dunford.
North Korea conducted a test of a hydrogen bomb on Sunday that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile. It was the sixth nuclear test conducted by the communist nation, but the first to occur since Trump took office.
“Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response,” Mattis warned, adding that any response would be both “effective and overwhelming.”
Mattis did not take questions from reporters. Earlier in the day, Trump attended church services in Washington, D.C. and was asked by a reporter if he planned to attack North Korea in response to the nuclear test. He replied, “We’ll see.”