The United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has said the US is prepared to use military force to defend itself after North Korea successfully launched an intercontinental ballistic missile on Tuesday.

She also said that China risks its commercial relationship with the US if Beijing's trade with North Korea flaunts UN sanctions.

Haley said during a speech on Wednesday (5 July) that the US would use "considerable military forces" to defend itself but prefers using trade, adding that "much of the burden of enforcing UN sanctions rests with China".

Trump has often used tweets in attempts to pressure China into taking more assertive actions against North Korea and the country's continued missile launches.

"I have great confidence that China will properly deal with North Korea. If they are unable to do so, the US, with its allies, will!" Trump tweeted on 13 April, a few days after hosting Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago.

After the most recent launch, Trump tweeted: "Perhaps China will put a heavy move on North Korea and end this nonsense once and for all!" But one Wednesday morning, his tone seemed to have changed.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40% in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" the president said.

Haley said that the United States would be circulating a new Security Council resolution "that raises the international response in a way that is proportionate to North Korea's escalation."

AFP reported that China responded saying that military action was "not an option" when it came to North Korea.