"The sanctions bill which went through the United Nations recently didn't target Chinese entities directly. they'll actually be relieved they're not being directly targeted by the U.S.as many have feared", he said.
The public is split on whether the U.S. should take military action in response to the country's recent weapons testing and development, and partisan divisions emerge on questions about how the USA should respond. "Of course, we have to provide all options to do that, and that includes a military option", McMaster said in an interview with MSNBC on Saturday.
It cited the need to contain the USA major military bases on Guam, including the Anderson Air Force Base, where US strategic bombers are based.
Just hours after U.S. President Donald Trump told North Korea that any threat to the United States would be met with "fire and fury", a spokesman for the Korean People's Army said in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency that it was considering a strike aimed at U.S. military bases on Guam.
Warning of "fire and fury", President Donald Trump answered North Korea's threats with rhetoric the nuclear-armed nation might appreciate.
"North Korea is a real threat, but the President's unhinged reaction suggests he might consider using American nuclear weapons", said Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I take exception to the president's comments because you've got to be sure you can do what you say you're going to do."
Nearly two-thirds of those polled, 62%, say Kim Jong Un's isolated dictatorship poses a deep threat to the U.S., up from 48% who said the same in March and the highest that figure has been in polling dating back to 2000.
North Korea claimed in September that it had successfully tested the kind of nuclear warhead described in the report.
The new analysis completed last month by the Defense Intelligence Agency comes on the heels of another intelligence assessment that sharply raises the official estimate for the total number of bombs in the communist country's atomic arsenal. The sanctions followed intercontinental ballistic missile tests last month, the second of which was estimating as having a range that could reach more of the USA mainland.
The escalating tensions shook Asian markets as the Kospi stock market index in South Korea, whose capital Seoul is in range of North Korean artillery, sank 1.1%, while Japan's Nikkei 225 Average dropped 1.3%.
Why does North Korea hate the U.S.?
It's unclear how North Korea's new capabilities will immediately affect how the USA approaches the country's regular missile launches and occasional nuclear tests.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says North Korea is reckless, provocative, risky and a threat to peace.
However, its most recent statements suggest that North Korea is taking a more aggressive stance - suggesting that it might attack before the United States has a chance to strike.
In an apparent response to Trump's provocative remarks, Pyongyang said it was "carefully examining" a plan to strike Guam, home to a United States military base that includes a submarine squadron, an airbase and a Coast Guard group.
Experts had until last month said it would still take another two or three years for North Korea to develop a nuclear-tipped ICBM.
The way to avert a war with North Korea is to have a conversation, and that's not happening, Hecker said. North Korea responded with physical threats against the U.S. The first being that both sides recognize how devastating another Korean War would be, the second being that the Kim regime, which values its survival above all else, knows it would lose.