US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says there is no imminent threat from North Korea, despite Pyongyang saying it was considering strikes on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
Mr Tillerson also defended President Donald Trump, who has threatened North Korea with “fire and fury”.
He said Mr Trump just wanted to send a clear message to North Korea.
Defence Secretary James Mattis reiterated that message by urging North Korea to halt its weapons programme.
He said Pyongyang “should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people”.
“While our State Department is making every effort to resolve this global threat through diplomatic means, it must be noted that the combined allied militaries now possess the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.
North Korea’s actions “will continue to be grossly overmatched by ours and would lose any arms race or conflict it initiates”, he added.-UNS/BBC