US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said on Wednesday that North Korea's actions were "quickly closing off the possibility of a diplomatic solution" and the United States was prepared to defend itself and its allies.
"One of our capabilities lies with our considerable military forces. We will use them if we must, but we prefer not to have to go in that direction," Haley told a UN Security Council meeting on Pyongyang's recent intercontinental ballistic missile launch.
She said the United States would propose new UN sanctions on North Korea "in the coming days." She also warned that Washington was prepared to cut off trade with countries trading with North Korea in violation of UN resolutions.