The top USA military officer says the United States wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation.
Pyongyang has often staged provocations as a show of force against past military drills, such as missile launches or movements of its arsenal and troops along the tense border.
"The No. 1 thing you hear Secretary Tillerson talk about is goals and efforts to try to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, getting Kim Jong Un to give up those illegal weapons, getting him to stop with his destabilizing activities", she told reporters at the State Department.
Students in Guam are returning to school after summer break in spite of the recent North Korean missile threats.
He also declared, amid fears in South Korea that threats from President Donald Trump to unleash "fire and fury" on Pyongyang could lead to real fighting, that there would be no second war on the Korean Peninsula.
North Korea has repeatedly called for an end to large-scale joint military exercises between the allies in exchange for a freeze on its nuclear and missile programmes. It will include consensus on the U.S. Forces stationing in Korea, installation of a military buffer zone and control of nuclear weapons in the North Korea territory after a unified government chosen by the directly involved parties on the peninsula.
That's not to say that diplomacy is any more imminent this week than war was last week, but as North Korea put its Guam missile launches on hold, USA officials against made it very clear they were at least open o a resolution that didn't involve nuclear war.
Moon also said he would consider sending an envoy to North Korea in comments Thursday that appeared to be another effort to jumpstart a diplomatic solution to the crisis.
Kim on Monday inspected North Korea's army and received a briefing on its plans to fire missiles near Guam, official media said.
The White House scored a diplomatic victory August 5 when the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea in response to its latest ballistic missile tests.
China, North Korea's largest trading partner, has vowed to enforce the new sanctions, as it has done with previous imposts, and says it is ready to pay the price. It may be that the diplomatic proposals will seem more compelling for the United States at this point. Kim said he will give order for the missile test if the United States continues its "extremely risky actions" on the Korean Peninsula.
"This is a very important time for security in the region and of course we are mostly focussed on the threat coming out of North Korea", Dunford said.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Joseph Dunford on Monday said that the Pentagon is prepared "to use the full range of military capabilities to defend our allies and the United States homeland". But the South Korean government said Dunford did tell Moon that the United States is preparing military options in the event that diplomatic pressure fails.
The top US military officer said Monday that the United States wants to peacefully resolve a deepening standoff with North Korea but is also ready to use the "full range" of its military capabilities in case of provocation.