Defence Secretary Jim Mattis warned North Korea Wednesday that it would be "grossly" outmatched in any conflict with the USA, telling Pyongyang to stop considering any action that risked "the destruction of its people".
The secretary called on North Korea to "stop isolating itself and stand down its pursuit of nuclear weapons".
"The DPRK regime's actions will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates", Mattis said.
In a statement, Mattis said the USA and its allies would win any arms race or conflict with North Korea.
"Kim Jong-Un should take heed of the United Nation Security Council's unified voice, and statements from governments the world over, who agree the DPRK poses a threat to global security and stability", he asserted.
In July, the U.S. Department of State confirmed that North Korea had launched an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the U.S. And according to The Washington Post, the hermit nation has tested five nuclear weapons since 2006.
The news comes after dictator Kim Jong Un threatened to attack US forces in Guam after revelations that his regime now has mini-nukes. Three U.S. officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said the United States had not moved additional assets into the region after North Korea's threats against Guam.
Secretary of Defense James "Mad Dog" Mattis echoed his boss's fiery warning Wednesday to the dictator of North Korea with harsh rhetoric of his own. The official added, however, "it is important for the North Koreans to understand that this country's strategic patience is exhausted and that our resolve to defend our allies, whatever is required to do that, is not".
The United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea to guard against the North Korean threat. "You've got to be sure you can do what you say you're going to do", McCain said in a radio interview. Democratic leaders criticised Trump for his statement on North Korea. The aircraft flew over Japanese airspace before passing over the Korean Peninsula.
Media reports said the North has successfully miniaturised a nuclear warhead that can fit inside its missiles.
The South Korean capital, Seoul, is within range of massed North Korean rockets and artillery, which would be impossible to destroy in a first USA strike. Japan hosts around 54,000 U.S. military personnel, the U.S. Department of Defense says, and tens of thousands of Americans work in both countries. Its population is around 160,000 - but only about 6,000 U.S. troops are now stationed there.