SEOUL - The United States is looking at "all options" as it seeks to discourage North Korea from conducting a third nuclear test, a senior US military officer said on Tuesday, days after a failed long-range rocket launch by the North that drew international condemnation.

The UN Security Council on Monday condemned reclusive North Korea for Friday's rocket launch and warned of further action if Pyongyang carries out a nuclear test, reflecting concern that it may follow a pattern it set in 2009 during its second nuclear test.

Commander of US Pacific Command Admiral Samuel Locklear said Washington had a range of options to consider in response to any further provocation by the North.

"I don't think it would be appropriate to comment on how we would pursue any future military operation, but I can tell you that with the alliance, that we are continually looking at all options," he said when asked whether a surgical strike on the North's nuclear test site was being considered.

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