SEOUL/WASHINGTON – South Korea’s military carried out a missile drill on Monday in response to North Korea’s sixth nuclear test, while global markets reacted to the sharp escalation in tensions between Pyongyang and the United States.
The United Nations Security Council was set to meet later on Monday to discuss fresh sanctions against the isolated regime and U.S. President Donald Trump had asked to be briefed on all available military options, according to his defense chief.
South Korea’s air force and army conducted drills involving long-range air-to-surface missiles and ballistic missiles, the joint chiefs of staff said in a statement. Monday’s drill was carried out only by the South Korean military, but more were being prepared with U.S. forces in the country, it said.
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,” U.S. 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.”