No need yet to shoot down North Korean missiles

North Korea problem cannot be solved without Russia China – German FM

The defence secretary also said he believed that the United States had found military options to handle the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula that would not put the South Korean capital, Seoul, at grave risk, though he refused to elaborate on what those might be.

Pyongyang has claimed the measures - including a ban on textiles and a cap on oil supplies - will speed up North Korea's nuclear weapons programme.

Military options available to Trump range from non-lethal actions like a naval blockade aimed at enforcing sanctions to waging cyber attacks and positioning new US weaponry in South Korea, where the United States has 28,500 troops.

The news network reported its information comes from an unnamed official who it said to be familiar with options being discussed by the Trump administration. He answered: "Yes there are, but I will not go into details".

USA air force commanders often launch flights of their most lethal warplanes at time of heightened tension with North Korea.

South Korea has raised the possibility of reintroducing nuclear weapons to the peninsula. But he declined to say whether the option is under consideration.

The United States, South Korea and Japan carried out military exercises with warplanes over the Korean Peninsula Monday.

But signs that the United States is preparing a military option in North Korea - like a repositioning of military assets or an evacuation of U.S. citizens in the region - have not appeared.

Washington has also asked China to do more to rein in its neighbor and ally, while Beijing has urged the United States to refrain from making threats against the North. China in turn favors an worldwide response to the problem.

"They are intentionally doing provocations that seem to press against the envelope to see how far they can push without going over some kind of line in their minds that would make them vulnerable", he told reporters at the Pentagon.

"So, yes, it's working", he said.

South Korea, the United States and Japan agreed Wednesday to ratchet up pressure on North Korea for its continued nuclear and missile development, according to South Korea's defense ministry.

Such tests were in violation of Security Council resolutions and showed that North Korea could now target the United States or Europe, he wrote.

"The bottom line is that in the missiles, were they to be a threat, whether it be the United States territory Guam, obviously Japan, Japan's territory, that would elicit a different response from us", he said.

Related News: