On Wednesday, President Donald Trump's national security adviser H.R. McMaster said that the Trump administration is considering a wider range of strategies — including potential military responses — to deal with the increasing tensions between the U.S. and North Korea, according to Fox News.
“The threat is much more immediate now and so it’s clear that we can’t repeat the same approach – failed approach of the past,” said McMaster during a security conference with Homeland Security Chief John Kelly.
These comments from McMaster came a day before Trump was scheduled to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has vowed to stand with Trump against the North Korean regime.
"Together, we will achieve the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear program, peace on the Korean Peninsula and eventually peace in Northeast Asia," Moon said.
According to the New York Post, North Korean Ambassador to the U.N. Kim In Ryong told the U.N. Security Council on Wednesday that North Korea will continue to build its nuclear arsenal in the face of sanctions, pressure, or military attack. The threat of nuclear attack has been a massive point of contention between the U.S. and North Korea since North Korea began conducting nuclear and ballistic missile tests.
North Korea has also allegedly begun using drones to spy on U.S. anti-missile defense systems in South Korea, according to the LA Times. Reports say that a South Korean resident discovered a crashed sky-blue drone belonging to North Korea in a remote forest. The drone is reported to have flown south for five hours, taking pictures of the U.S. THAAD anti-missile system, designed to intercept North Korean projectiles, before crashing in the forest in Inje County.
The U.S. has been slowly building up its forces near the Korean peninsula since the death of U.S. university student Otto Warmbier at the hands of the North Koreans. Fox News reports that the U.S. sent two aircraft carriers to the Sea of Japan to join Japanese forces in a show of military might in early June.
CBS News reports that on June 20, the U.S. flew two supersonic B-1B bombers over the Korean peninsula in a show of solidarity with South Korean and Japanese forces "to defend against provocative and destabilizing actions in the Pacific theater."
Fox News reports that China has been pressing the U.S. to begin negotiations to de-escalate the rising tensions, however, this seems unlikely as Trump is reportedly frustrated with China's lukewarm attempts to put pressure on North Korea, who has shown no signs of wanting negotiations.