Trump touts US 'nuclear capabilities' as option for dealing with North Korea in call with Japan

US pesident Donald Trump. Photo: Michael Reynolds-Pool/ Getty Images.

The White House on Sunday published a readout of President Donald Trump’s talks with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that listed “nuclear capabilities” as an option for dealing with North Korean aggression.

The readout, in which both leaders recommitted themselves to mutual protection in light of North Korea’s sixth nuclear-weapons test just hours earlier, included another promise from the US president.

“President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal,” the readout said.

The mention of “nuclear capabilities” was the strongest reaction from the administration Sunday. Defence Secretary James Mattis warned of a “massive” and “overwhelming” military response to North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs, but stopped short of touting the US’s nuclear capabilities.

The talk between Trump and Abe come just days after North Korea launched a missile that flew over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido.

In his own statement earlier Sunday, the Japanese prime minister reiterated his country’s intentions to enforce international resolutions that prohibit nuclear tests and to use other diplomatic measures to rein in Kim Jong Un’s regime.

Read the White House’s entire statement below:

“President Donald J. Trump spoke with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan to discuss North Korea’s claimed test of a hydrogen bomb, on September 3. The two leaders condemned North Korea’s continued destabilizing and provocative actions, confirmed the two countries’ ironclad mutual defence commitments, and pledged to continue close cooperation. President Trump reaffirmed the commitment of the United States to defending our homeland, territories, and allies using the full range of diplomatic, conventional, and nuclear capabilities at our disposal.”

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