Washington says a global consensus, which includes China, recognizes that North Korea's "threatening behaviour" can't go on. Tensions in the region remain high following Pyongyang's latest failed missile test.
US President Donald Trump's national security advisor said on Sunday that Washington and its allies were studying all actions "short of a military option" to tackle North Korea's provocation.
"I think there's an international consensus now, including - including the Chinese - that this is a situation that just can't continue," said H.R. McMaster, hours after Pyongyang tested a ballistic missile from its eastern coast.
Speaking to US TV network ABC from the Afghan capital of Kabul, McMaster said Trump had called on US military, diplomatic and intelligence officials to give him options that could be used "if the North Korea regime refuses to denuclearize."
Why would I call China a currency manipulator when they are working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 16 Απριλίου 2017
On Sunday, Trump also highlighted the importance of cooperation with China by tweeting that Beijing was "working with us on the North Korean problem? We will see what happens.
Coming to a head
Tensions have been rising on the Korean peninsulain recent days after the US Navy deployed near the Korean Peninsula, and over speculation that Pyongyang was preparing another nuclear test.
After the US launched cruise missiles at a Syrian airbase and "the mother of all bombs" over territory held by "Islamic State" militants in Afghanistan, some analysts have warned that the US may also take military action against Pyongyang.
The US military's Pacific Command said North Korea's latest ballistic missile test, early on Sunday from the coastal city of Sinpo, "blew up almost immediately."
Sinpo is the site of a North Korean submarine base and where the North has previously tested a submarine-launched ballistic missile it is developing.
The attempted launch came as US Vice President Mike Pence arrived in Seoul on Sunday as part of a four-day tour of the region.
US Vice President Mike Pence assured South Korea of Washington's full support against Pyongyang's threat
"This morning's provocation from the North is just the latest reminder of the risks each one of you face every day in the defense of the freedom of the people of South Korea and the defense of America in this part of the world," he told members of the US military in South Korea.
Pence is due to hold talks with South Korean and Japanese leaders on curbing the North's weapons programs.
Last year, North Korea launched 21 ballistic missiles and carried out two nuclear tests. So far this year, it has launched five missiles - the most recent were in response to an annual US-South Korea military exercise, Pyongyang said.
Despite six rounds of United Nations sanctions over the past decade, the North has continued to pursue high tech weaponry, amid claims it is working on an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), which could reach the western US.
On Saturday, the North held a large military parade to mark the anniversary of the country's late founder, Kim Il Sung. One of the 60 missiles showcased is believed to be the new ICBM.