"For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option, well, there is a military option".
Hours later, President Donald Trump said the same thing during a speech at Joint Base Andrews, saying USA military options are "both overwhelming and effective", and called out North Korea's "utter contempt for its neighbors and the worldwide community".
The US president was speaking after North Korea launched a ballistic missile that flew over Japan, its 15th missile test this year. Pyongyang fired a missile on a similar trajectory less than three weeks ago.
Speaking at Joint Base Andrews, the Air Force installation outside Washington, Trump declared that American military options were robust should they be required to respond to threats from Pyongyang.
Japanese officials are "miffed" over United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley's decision to appear at a White House press briefing as the critical situation in North Korea escalates, CNN's Jim Acosta reports.
The Security Council passed its most stringent package of sanctions against North Korea yet on Monday, in response to claims by the nuclear power that it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
Further Pressure May Provoke 'Unpredictable' Response From North Korea
North Korea also has the world's largest standing army. "I don't think that he'll stray too much outside of the boundaries of that", Collins said.
The president will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in NY next Thursday, McMaster said.
This AP file photo shows U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster. Just four days earlier, it had unanimously approved new sanctions on Pyongyang for its sixth and most powerful nuclear test on September 3. The demonstration is the second in less than a month, and comes after the United Nations Security Council voted unanimously to sanction the rogue regime over it's increasingly defiant posture. A resolution in August sought to slash the country's US$3 billion annual export revenue by a third.
But he said that while the USA did have a "military option", it was not the preferred route, adding that the USA is keen to work with allies on measures "short of war".
"What we are seeing is they continue to be provocative, they continue to be reckless".
McMaster sent a mixed message 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". 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.