US defense chief Mattis threatens 'massive military response' if North Korea attacks

WASHINGTON, Sept 3 (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on Sunday threatened a "massive military response" to any attack on the United States or its allies after North Korea conducted its most powerful nuclear test to date.

Speaking outside the White House, Mattis said: "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."

Mattis said Washington was not looking for the "total annihilation of a country, namely North Korea. But as I said, we have many options to do so."

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Kim Jong-Un inspects hydrogen bomb
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Kim Jong-Un inspects hydrogen bomb
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un provides guidance on a nuclear weapons program in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang September 3, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS PICTURE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE AUTHENTICITY, CONTENT, LOCATION OR DATE OF THIS IMAGE. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. NOT FOR USE BY REUTERS THIRD PARTY DISTRIBUTORS. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS. TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People walk past a street monitor showing North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un in a news report about North Korea's nuclear test, in Tokyo, Japan, September 3, 2017. REUTERS/Toru Hanai
TOKYO, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 03: Pedestrians walk past a monitor showing an image of North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un in a news program reporting on North Korea's 6th nuclear test on September 3, 2017 in Tokyo, Japan. South Korea, Japan and the U.S. detected an artificial earthquake from Kilju, northern Hamgyong Province of North Korea. State news agency KCNA announced Pyongyang have successfully carried out a test of a hydrogen bomb, which could be loaded to the Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) missile. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Residents look up at a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang showing the image of a document signed by North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to carry out a hydrogen bomb test on September 3, 2017. North Korea declared itself a thermonuclear power on September 3, after carrying out a sixth nuclear test more powerful than any it has previously detonated, presenting President Donald Trump with a potent challenge. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents watch a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang showing newsreader Ri Chun-Hee as she announces the news that the country has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3, 2017. North Korea declared itself a thermonuclear power on September 3, after carrying out a sixth nuclear test more powerful than any it has previously detonated, presenting President Donald Trump with a potent challenge. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
Residents react as they watch the televised annoucement on a big video screen on Mirae Scientists Street in Pyongyang that the country has successfully tested a hydrogen bomb on September 3, 2017. North Korea declared itself a thermonuclear power on September 3, after carrying out a sixth nuclear test more powerful than any it has previously detonated, presenting President Donald Trump with a potent challenge. / AFP PHOTO / KIM Won-Jin (Photo credit should read KIM WON-JIN/AFP/Getty Images)
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