Asked if he’d attack North Korea, Trump says: “We’ll see”

TOKYO — North Korea on Sunday claimed a “perfect success” for its most powerful nuclear test so far, a further step in the development of weapons capable of striking anywhere in the United States. President Trump, asked if he would attack the North, said, “We’ll see.”

The latest provocation from the isolated communist country reinforces the danger facing America, Mr. Trump had said earlier in a series of tweets, adding that “talk of appeasement” is pointless.

“They only understand one thing!” Mr. Trump wrote, without elaboration, as he prepared to meet later with his national security team. It was the first nuclear test since Mr. Trump took office in January.

Hours later, after attending church in Washington, the president made his “We’ll see” comment in response to a question from reporters.

Mr. Trump tweeted Sunday that he would meet with White House chief of staff John Kelly, Defense Secretary James Mattis and “other leaders” at the White House to discuss tensions with North Korea. In another tweet, he threatened a shutdown of U.S. trade with countries “doing business” with North Korea.

“The United States is considering, in addition to other options, stopping all trade with any country doing business with North Korea,” he posted on Twitter.

The precise strength of the explosion, described by state-controlled media in North Korea as a hydrogen bomb, has yet to be determined. South Korea’s weather agency said the artificial earthquake caused by the explosion was five times to six times stronger than tremors generated by the North’s previous five such tests. The impact reportedly shook buildings in China and in Russia.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was calling counterparts in Asia, and Mr. Trump’s treasury secretary, Steven Mnuchin, said he was putting together proposed new sanctions for Mr. Trump to consider that would seek to cut off trade with North Korea. It’s unclear what kind of penalties might make a difference: Lassina Zerbo, head of the U.N. test ban treaty organization, said sanctions already imposed against North Korea aren’t working.

Mr. Trump warned last…

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