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U.S. options on North Korea 'effective and overwhelming'

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Carolyn Kaster  AP

The United Nations reacted strongly after North Korea tested a weapon analysts say has the explosive power of 250 kilotons of TNT, passing the new sanctions on September 11.

North Korea kicked off September with a test of a suspected staged thermonuclear bomb, specifically a hydrogen bomb, and early Friday, the regime launched a Hwasong-12 intermediate-range ballistic missile for the second time in a month.

"For those who have said and who have been commenting on a lack of a military option, there is a military option", he said at the White House briefing, though he noted that it was not the administration's preferred route for dealing with the nation's aggressiveness.

The president will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the sidelines of the U.N. General Assembly in NY next Thursday, McMaster said.

President Donald Trump's top press officer will be joined by national security adviser H.R. McMaster and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley at 1:30 p.m. EDT.

McMaster stressed Friday that the U.S.is still trying to resolve the conflict diplomaticcaly.

"We try and push through as many diplomatic options as we have", Haley said during the White House briefing. "Now, it's not what we prefer to do". He calls on all nations to enforce them and do everything they can to address the threat and prevent war.

The sanctions were announced days before North Korea's latest provocation this week, the launching of a missile over Japan into the Pacific.

The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Friday in NY to discuss the crisis, though no further sanctions were expected to be agreed. "They continue to be provocative".

The last set of sanctions included restrictions on North Korea's oil imports and a ban on its textile exports.

The increasing levels of sanctions are expected to cut off 90 percent of North Korea's trade.

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