Not surprising if North Korea tests missile again — Central Intelligence Agency chief

North Korea conducts a test launch of a Hwasong-14 ICBM in a KCNA

British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson on Saturday (Aug 12) blamed North Korea for the stand-off with the United States and said London wants a diplomatic end to the crisis.

National security adviser H.R. McMaster said Sunday that the "taking all possible actions" to resolve the nuclear threat from North Korea without resorting to military action, but declined to rule out responding to another threat from the country with force. "But we are closer to war than we were a decade ago". "The thing that's important now is not that those back channels exist, but that we're using them", Perry said. "It's a good sign" that communication still takes place, he said.

While the two foes discussed the release of Warmbier in June, it wasn't known that the contacts had continued or expanded in scope.

Earlier this week Donald Trump vowed that Washington would respond to further threats with "fire and fury", while Pyongyang has accused the United States president of "driving" the Korean peninsula to the "brink of a nuclear war".

Perry said that arrangement could ease tensions that have only heightened this week after both President Trump and dictator Kim Jong Un touted their military strength.

But despite the escalating rhetoric from Trump, McMaster said the threat of war with North Korea has not dramatically increased over the past few days, though he underscored the seriousness of the problem.

"I ask them both [Trump and Kim] - calm down".

On Wednesday, about 100,000 citizens gathered in Pyongyang to support the government's pledge of retaliation against the USA, with smaller rallies held in provincial cities later, according to the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA). Russia, however, said that the missiles were intermediate range.

"At the end of the day if the North Koreans evolve into a fully replete nuclear weapons state with ICBMs (intercontinental ballistic missiles) with miniaturised warheads on top then, well, the Chinese view is, the USA will then just have to accept that reality", Mr Rudd said. But it wasn't known until now that the contacts have continued or that the talks broached matters other than USA detainees. But contacts restarted after Trump's inauguration, according to AP.