"What we're seeing is they continue to be provocative and reckless". North Korea also has the world's largest standing army.
North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido Friday, the latest in a stream of missile tests that have looked to defy the worldwide community.
As president-elect, he called the United Nations. And there's little sign that talks involving the U.S., North Korea and other interested countries can be arranged amid the nearly weekly barrage of weapons tests and threats, let alone stop the North's determined nuclear march.
McMaster sent a mixed message on Friday, insisting that the USA retained a "military option" in dealing with North Korea even while calling on "everyone to do everything we can to address the global problem short of war".
Earlier this week, the UN Security Council agreed to tighten sanctions on North Korea, banning its textile exports and capping fuel supplies.
McMaster qualified this statement by saying military action is "not what we would prefer to do". Like his predecessors, Trump has opted for choices somewhere in between: economic sanctions and talk of eventual diplomacy or military action, depending on how North Korea responds.
President Donald Trump has said America and its allies will never be intimidated and insisted that the US' options for addressing the threat posed by North Korea are both "effective and overwhelming".
"The South Korean government said they fired a missile within minutes afterwards, from their coastline". Equally, as the North moves closer to placing a miniaturised nuclear warhead on a missile capable of hitting a United States city with pinpoint accuracy, how great is the risk that the U.S. might feel compelled to preemptively attack the North to prevent Kim from threatening the USA with a nuclear attack? Experts disagree about whether the North had the capability to mount such an attack, which would involve setting off a bomb in the atmosphere that could heavily damage power grids and other infrastructure. "China and Russian Federation must indicate their intolerance for these reckless missile launches by taking direct actions of their own", Tillerson said.
"We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim [Jong Un] regime", the top USA diplomat said. "I have no problem kicking it to Gen. [Jim] Mattis, because I think he has plenty of options".
A North Korean state agency threatened Thursday to use nuclear weapons to "sink" Japan and reduce the United States to "ashes and darkness" for supporting a U.N. Security Council resolution and sanctions over the latest nuclear test. That launch came less than two weeks after Pyongyang staged its most powerful nuclear test yet.
Analysts are debating whether North Korea's shot over Japan was actually meant as a message to Guam as the ICBM flew far enough to theoretically reach the American island.
Former top White House aide Steve Bannon told a reporter in August that there are no military solutions for North Korea. She expected a Trump call for maximum pressure on North Korea. The President must refrain from Twitter tantrums such as accusing President Moon of "appeasement" or engaging in rhetorical strategic or economic brinkmanship, either towards Pyongyang or Beijing, that looks increasingly hollow and unconvincing.