The US has made it clear that it is looking at "other options" to deal with North Korea if the reclusive nation presses on with its nuclear and missile tests. Without revealing what other options are available on the table, Washington has reiterated that North Korea should scale down the tensions in the Korean peninsula.
Washington's warning has come when Pyongyang is reportedly inching on its preparations for a fifth nuclear test in the coming days.
"We're going to look at other options as we move forward if North Korea continues with this kind of behaviour," said State Department deputy spokesperson Mark Toner. When pressed further, the spokesperson said the consequences would include sanctions and security measures but did not elaborate on the specifics.
"I think it's pretty clear that as North Korea continues to make decisions that we believe are counterproductive, that we've got to also continually look at what our options are in terms of response," said Toner.
Earlier, South Korean President Park Geun-hye warned the North has "completed preparations" for its nuclear test and is ready to carry it out any time soon.
Meanwhile, the North has also announced it will be holding the ruling Workers Party's congress on 6 May. The gathering will be the first-ever meeting in more than 35 years.
This will also be the first such party conference under North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. While six such conferences have been held in the past, the last one took place in 1980.