United States has 'many' military options

North Korea news Donald Trump World War 3

North Korea news Donald Trump World War 3

The U.S., together with its global partners, has been pursuing a diplomatic solution to the North Korea problem while maintaining that "all options are on the table".

"There are many military options, in concert with our allies, that we will take to defend our allies and our own interests", Mattis told Pentagon reporters.

When asked whether it was possible that such nukes might be deployed to the Korean Peninsula, Mattis said the two sides had "discussed the option", but declined to elaborate. US nuclear weapons were withdrawn from the Korean peninsula in the early 1990s at the close of the Cold War.

Military experts said options that might not prompt immediate retaliation against Seoul could include cyber warfare, or even an assassination attempt on Kim - though such an attempt would have to be successful. "I want to say", he said.

He also explained that diplomacy and sanctions will prove effective in pressuring the regime. The same day, the Mexican government gave North Korean Ambassador Kim Hyong Gil 72 hours to leave the country.

But signs that the United States is preparing a military option in North Korea - like a repositioning of military assets or an evacuation of USA citizens in the region - have not appeared.

"No. 1, those missiles are not directly threatening any of us", he said.

Japan and USA missile defenses and radars are operating, he added, and North Korea is intentionally initiating provocations "that seem to press against the envelope for just how far can they push without going over some kind of a line in their minds that would make them vulnerable".

Tensions have run high in the region as North Korea has tested a series of ballistic missiles as well as a nuclear weapon it claims was an H-bomb.

It "would elicit a different response from us", if a North Korean missile were to threaten USA or Japanese territory, he said.

On Sept. 3, North Korea conducted an underground nuclear test that was by far its most powerful to date.

North Korea "may take further provocative actions including launching ballistic missiles that would fly over Japan again in the future", Onodera said, adding that his ministry "would take appropriate measures to protect people's safety". However with more missile tests possibly on the way, North Korea is expected to catch up quickly. Mattis happened to be at U.S. Strategic Command headquarters near Omaha, Nebraska, at the time of the launch and afterward condemned it for forcing "millions of Japanese" to "duck and cover". "So they aim for the middle of the Pacific Ocean".

The bottom line, he said, is that if the missiles were a threat to Guam or Japan, "that would elicit a different response from us".

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