Hours later, President Donald Trump said the same thing during a speech at Joint Base Andrews, saying USA military options are "both overwhelming and effective", and called out North Korea's "utter contempt for its neighbors and the global community".
McMaster says North Korea is on track to having a nuclear weapon that could threaten its neighbors and the United States.
North Korea conducted its longest-ever test flight of a ballistic missile Friday, sending an intermediate-range weapon hurtling over US ally Japan into the northern Pacific Ocean in a launch that signals both defiance of its rivals and a big technological advance.
McMaster said new sanctions on North Korea are just going into effect and need to be given a chance to work.
The U.S. ambassador to the U.N., Nikki Haley, was at the White House briefing Friday afternoon. Haley noted that the USA and the U.N. have saddled the hermit nation with crippling sanctions. "And so for those who have said and have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option", he said, "[but] it is not what we prefer to do".
The Security Council scheduled an emergency closed-door meeting Friday afternoon in NY.
The council "strongly condemned these launches, condemned further the DPRK for its outrageous actions, and demanded that the DPRK immediately cease all such actions", a statement said, referring to North Korea by its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
The last set of sanctions included restrictions on North Korea's oil imports and a ban on its textile exports. "We have strangled their economic situation", Haley said, explaining that there is no way North Korea will not feel the impact of the latest sanctions, which cut off 90 percent of all North Korean exports.
- Shocked residents return to Irma-ravaged Florida Keys
- Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to invest £8.9bn in electric and autonomous cars
- UEFA Europa League: Arsenal vs Cologne
- Independence Cup will pave way for profitable int'l series in future: Sethi
- California lawmakers approve 'sanctuary state' bill
- AJ Green says he needs the football more often
- Iraq's Kurdish leader vows to conduct independence referendum
- Violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar must stop
- Trump tweets about ' sick and demented loser terrorist'
- Four races free-to-air in new French F1 deal