US President Donald Trump has said he would like to solve the North Korea crisis diplomatically, but that a “major, major conflict” is possible.
In an interview with Reuters, he praised China’s President Xi Jinping for his handling of North Korea, calling him “a very good man” who loved his country.
Mr Trump also said it had been “very hard” for Kim Jong-un to take over North Korea at such a young age.
The UN Security Council is meeting to discuss North Korea on Friday.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington would negotiate with North Korea, with a view to removing nuclear weapons from the country, not changing the government.
He told NPR Radio in the US: “We do not seek regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula.
“We seek a denuclearised Korean peninsula – and that is entirely consistent with the objectives of others in the region as well.”