US President Donald Trump has starkly warned that a ‘major, major conflict’ between America and North Korea could take place if a diplomatic solution is not achieved between the two countries.
The US is currently at loggerheads with the secretive hermit state after sending an armada of warships to the region and installing a divisive anti-missile system in South Korea earlier this week.
North Korea has also been condemned after launching a series of failed missile tests in a bid to show off its military strength.
But in a new interview conducted inside the Oval Office, Mr Trump refused to rule out the possibility of military conflict between the new nations.
He said: ‘There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.’
During the bizarre interview, Mr Trump was also forced to deny that he was praising North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un, after seemingly sympathising with the way that he had taken power after the death of his father in 2011.
He said: ‘He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want, but that is not easy, especially at that age.’
The interview came after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson previously claimed that America did not seek regime change in North Korea.
He told NPR Radio: ‘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.’