US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Joseph Dunford said on Monday US military options being prepared against North Korea would be for when diplomatic and economic sanctions failed, South Korea's president's office said on Monday.
Dunford made the comments to South Korean President Moon Jae-in in a 50-minute meeting to discuss recent issues including North Korean provocation, office spokesman Park Su-hyun told a media briefing.
Dunford was in Seoul speaking to South Korean military officials, including Defence Minister Song Young-moo. He was due to leave South Korea later on Monday and will make stops in China and Japan this week.
Tension has increased in recent months over concern that North Korea is close to achieving its goal of putting the mainland United States within range of a nuclear weapon.
North Korea and the United States exchanged threats of military action last week, with Pyongyang saying it will develop a plan to strike the US Pacific territory of Guam.