'No easy military solution' but 'all options are on the table,' says Foreign Secretary Johnson
There is “no easy military solution” to prevent nuclear aggression by North Korea, Britain’s foreign secretary said Sunday.
Boris Johnson, added, however, that “all options” are still on the table for retaliation.
“It’s certainly our view that none of the military options are good,” Johnson told Sky News after North Korea announced it had tested a hydrogen bomb which could be loaded on intercontinental ballistic missiles.
“It is of course right to say that all options are on the table, but we really don’t see an easy military solution,” Johnson said.
Stressing the short distance between the North and Seoul, he warned that in a conflict, North Korea “could basically vaporize” large parts of the South, even with conventional weapons.
So a military option is “not really very easy to threaten and to deliver,” he added.
“Much more productive, we think, is to continue with the international diplomatic effort,” he said, stressing the need for a further diplomatic push.
'New order of threat'
Johnson, much like various other leaders, reacted against the latest nuclear test by the southeast Asian country.
He said: “There is no question that this is another provocation. It is reckless. What they are doing is 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.
“We have to consider how to respond and it’s our view in the U.K., overwhelmingly, that peaceful diplomatic means are the best,” he added.
North Korea claimed to have detonated a new hydrogen bomb Sunday, confirming suspicions of the reclusive state's sixth-ever nuclear test after outside monitors noted a large artificial earthquake.
Pyongyang's official KCNA news agency later announced that its "perfect" test involved a hydrogen bomb that could be mounted on a North Korean ICBM (intercontinental ballistic missile).
May: Serious and grave
British Prime Minister Theresa May also reacted to the test, describing the nuclear threat by North Korea as "serious and grave."
“This latest action by North Korea is reckless and poses an unacceptable further threat to the international community,” she said.
She reiterated the call “for tougher action, including increasing the pace of implementation of existing sanctions and looking urgently in the UN Security Council at new measures."
"This is now even more pressing," May said.
"The international community has universally condemned this test and must come together to continue to increase the pressure on North Korea's leaders to stop their destabilising actions," she added.
French President Emmanuel Macron also urged a "very firm" global response to the test.
“The international community needs to deal with this latest provocation with the greatest firmness, so that North Korea will restart dialogue without conditions and proceed with the complete, verifiable, and irreversible dismantling of its nuclear and ballistic weapons programs,” Macron’s office said in a statement.
He called on UN Security Council members to "react quickly" to this new "violation of international law".