W.H. says ‘all options' on table to curb North Korea nuke efforts

North Korea fired a ballistic missile off its east coast early Wednesday, as a frustrated Trump administration sent mixed signals about the reclusive nation’s aggressive efforts to ramp up its nuclear program.

A senior White House official told CNN Tuesday that “the clock has now run out and all options are on the table.”

The White House official also said North Korea is a “matter of urgent interest for the President and the administration as a whole” and that Trump plans to urge China to exert leverage over North Korea.

In an unusually terse statement, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson acknowledged the latest test late Tuesday.

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“North Korea launched yet another intermediate range ballistic missile. The United States has spoken enough about North Korea. We have no further comment,” the statement read.

President Trump is slated to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping (l.) later this week in Florida. A White House official said Trump plans to urge China to exert leverage over North Korea to halt the advancement of its nuclear program.

(© Reuters Staff / Reuters/REUTERS)

North Korea has recently conducted at least five nuclear tests and a series of missile launches in defiance of United Nations resolutions.

Trump, who has vowed to act unilaterally against North Korea, is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping later this week in Florida.

Earlier Tuesday, Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, who said that it was difficult to see a solution to North Korea that did not involve China.

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“I am a military officer, my job is to provide military options to the President … but I look at it from a strategic perspective, and I can’t see a solution that doesn’t involve China,” Hyten said.

Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, said it was difficult to see a solution to North Korea that did not involve China.

Gen. John Hyten, the head of U.S. Strategic Command, said it was difficult to see a solution to North Korea that did not involve China.

(YURI GRIPAS/REUTERS)

The general’s own comments came just days after Trump said Washington might deal with Pyongyang on its own if need be.

On Sunday, the President said in an interview with the Financial Times that China has great influence over North Korea and that “China will either decide to help us with North Korea, or they won’t.

“And if they do that will be very good for China, and if they don’t, it won’t be good for anyone,” he warned.

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