US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis has told Pyongyang it should stop any actions that would lead to the "end of its regime and the destruction of its people".
Mattis' words, some of the strongest he has issued on North Korea, followed comments from US President Donald Trump who said that threats to the US from Pyongyang would be met with "fire and fury".
Trump's unexpected remarks prompted North Korea to respond that it was considering plans for a missile strike on the US Pacific territory of Guam.
Tension in the region has risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests last year and two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July.
US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says they are trying the diplomatic route with North Korea, but also stressed the might of the US would overwhelm the Asian nation's military.
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