Mnuchin: ‘All the options are on the table’ when responding to North Korea nuclear threats

PHOTO: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin speaks at a news conference on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, June 9, 2017. PlayPatrick Doyle/Reuters
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Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told ABC News on Sunday that President Trump is ready to defend the United States from North Korean nuclear threats, both economically and militarily.

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“The president has said all the options are on the table. The president has lots of alternatives that have been presented to him, and he will make decisions at the time,” Mnuchin told ABC News’ Martha Raddatz on “This Week.”

Trump signed an executive order last week that expands economic sanctions on North Korea, limiting the isolated totalitarian state’s trade with other countries.

Mnuchin called the sanctions “the most strong sanctions that have ever been done,” but said they are only one form of action.

“Military is one form, economics is another form, and the president will pursue all the options,” Mnuchin said.

During a four-day visit to the United Nations General Assembly last week, Trump said the U.S. would “totally destroy” North Korea if forced to defend itself or its allies. In response, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said leader Kim Jong Un is considering testing a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

Mnuchin called the threat of that potentially devastating test “unbelievable.”

“This is about someone who’s testing nuclear weapons, a hydrogen bomb that is dramatically bigger than any bomb that has been used,” Mnuchin said. “This is about sending ballistic missiles across Japan’s airspace. These things are not going to continue to be allowed, and the president has made that very clear.”

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