President Donald Trump has reacted to what he is calling “a major nuclear test” by North Korea, branding the North “a rogue nation” whose “words and actions continue to be very hostile and dangerous” to the United States.
Trump said on Sunday “we’ll see” when asked by reporters if he planned to attack North Korea.
Trump’s remarks came after Pyongyang’s announcement of a “perfect success” with its sixth and most powerful nuclear test to date.
Trump also rebuked South Korea on Twitter, saying “their talk of appeasement with North Korea won’t work, they [North Korea] only understand one thing”.
The White House said in a statement the situation was being closely monitored, and Trump and his national security team would meet later in the day.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron called for tougher EU sanctions against North Korea, saying Pyongyang has “reached a new dimension of provocation” with its latest nuclear test.
“The chancellor and the president are in agreement that North Korea has trampled on international law and that the international community must therefore react with determination against this new escalation,” Merkel’s office said in a statement after she spoke on the phone with Macron.
Separately, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Pyongyang’s latest test “means that we have to find a level-headed but clear answer”.
Boris Johnson, UK’s foreign minister, said North Korea’s latest nuclear test could represent a new order of threat.
“There’s no question that this is another provocation, it’s reckless,” he told Sky News broadcaster.
“They seem to be moving closer towards a hydrogen bomb which, if fitted to a successful missile, would unquestionably present a new order of threat.”
Yukiya Amano, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), called North Korea’s sixth nuclear test since 2006 “an extremely regrettable act”.