The threat from North Korea has grown to a “critical and imminent level” and the US, Japan and South Korea must address the matter, said the Japanese defence minister.
Isolating North Korea further over its nuclear and ballistic missile tests is a key goal for Trump on what will be his longest foreign trip to date.
Trump wants to gain some serious cooperation from China to persuade Pyongyang to either change its mind or help deprive it of resources.
Tillerson’s comments Sunday come amid soaring tensions between the US and North Korea following a series of weapons tests by Pyongyang.
Trump made the “calm before the storm” comment during an October 5 photo opportunity before having dinner with US military leaders and their wives.
South Korean and US government officials have been raising their guard against more North Korean provocations after the sixth largest nuclear test by the latter.
Trump did not make clear to what he was referring, but his comments seemed to be a further suggestion that military action was on his mind.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that communication was happening directly and cited two or three US channels open to Pyongyang.
North Korea’s foreign minister Ri Yong Ho, who was in New York yesterday, accused US President Donald Trump of declaring war against his country.
US Air Force B-1B Lancer bombers escorted by fighter jets flew east of North Korea in a show of force after a heated exchange of rhetoric between Trump and Kim over North Korea’s nuclear and missile programmes.
Faced with the reality that North Korea could soon be able to strike American soil, how willing will the US be to come to Japan’s aid while its own security is at risk.
The US wants the Security Council to impose an oil embargo on North Korea and ban its exports of textiles and the hiring of North Korean labourers abroad.
Worry over US-North Korea relations rises in South Korea as citizens buy more gold and ready-to-eat meals, and the government expands civil defence drills.