North Korea said on Sunday it had tested an advanced hydrogen bomb for a long-range missile, prompting the threat of a “massive” military response from the United States if it or its allies were threatened. “Any threat to the United States or its territories, including Guam or our allies, will be met with a massive military response, a response both effective and overwhelming,” US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said outside the White House after meeting Trump and his national security team. “We are not looking to the total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea,” Mattis said. “But as I said, we have many options to do so.”
#NorthKorea's H-Bomb: This is what a 1 Megaton #NUKE would do to Tokyo, according to a screenshot from Nukemap pic.twitter.com/eH0a0BeKVhSeptember 3, 2017
The #NorthKorea situation is a perfect example of how humans create needless, pointless chaos and strife. — Peter Daou (@peterdaou) September 3, 2017The test had registered with international seismic agencies as a man-made earthquake near a test site. Japanese and South Korean officials said the tremor was about 10 times more powerful than the one picked up after North Korea’s previous nuclear test a year ago. The Japanese yen, gold and sovereign bonds all rose early on Monday as North Korea’s latest nuclear test provoked the usual knee-jerk shift to safe havens, while futures pointed to a difficult day for global equities. Japan is the world’s largest creditor nation and traders tend to assume Japanese investors would repatriate funds at times of crisis, thus pushing up the yen. Many wonder, however, if Japanese assets would really remain in favour if war actually broke out in Asia. South Korea’s finance minister vowed to implement policies to support financial markets if instability caused by North Korea’s latest nuclear weapon test showed signs of spreading to the real economy. “We are aware that there could be negative ripple effects should geopolitical risks resurface,” Kim Dong-yeon said in a policy meeting urgently scheduled with the central bank and financial regulators before financial markets opened.
South Korea’s new president, Moon Jae-in, has argued for continuing dialogue with its neighbor over its nuclear program, while also supporting international sanctions. A former senior State Department official criticised Trump for accusing South Korea of appeasement. “It was unseemly, unhelpful, and divisive to gratuitously slap our major ally at the very moment when the threat from (North Korea) has reached a new height,” said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Reports that the United States was considering pulling out of its trade deal with South Korea have also ratcheted up tensions. Trump has previously vowed to stop North Korea developing nuclear weapons and said he would unleash “fire and fury” if it threatened US territory.
With #NorthKorea we need to be clear-headed, consistent, and calculated. Trump's policy by tweeting demonstrates weakness, not strength.— Mike Levin (@MikeLevinCA) September 3, 2017
Let's approach #NorthKorea like we've always taken on world threats: having the most friends on the playground. NOT by parroting the bully. https://t.co/5K8fcZ0EUp — Rep. Eric Swalwell (@RepSwalwell) September 3, 2017Hours before the test, North Korean state news agency KCNA released pictures showing Kim inspecting a silver, hourglass-shaped warhead during a visit to the North’s nuclear weapons institute. KCNA said North Korea “recently succeeded” in making a more advanced hydrogen bomb. It says its weapons programs are needed to counter US aggression.
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