Trump has said the U.S. and its allies will not be intimidated by the reclusive nation.
The UN Security Council on Friday strongly condemned North Korea's "highly provocative" missile launch and demanded Pyongyang immediately halt such actions - but did not threaten further sanctions. "We call on all nations to take new measures against the Kim regime".
"Eventually, if its opponents start backing the country into a corner, North Korea may begin selling missile technology".
And what have the US and its allies achieved?
Former top White House aide Steve Bannon told a reporter in August that there are no military solutions for North Korea.
The worldwide community is scrambling to contain an increasingly belligerent North Korea, which in recent weeks has prompted global alarm by conducting its sixth and largest nuclear test and firing long-range missiles over Japan that it says could reach the U.S. mainland.
"For those who have been commenting about the lack of a military option, there is a military option", he said.
The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, echoed McMaster's strong rhetoric, even as she said Washington's preferred resolution to the crisis is through diplomacy and sanctions. "There's a dismissal of worldwide concern, unified UN Security Council concerns", he said.
Those arguments were buttressed from within Trump's administration last month when Steven Bannon concurred that America was essentially bluffing about military options, shortly before he was pushed out as the president's strategic adviser.
"I don't think that he'll stray too much outside of the boundaries of that", Collins said.
"Sanctions are indeed ineffective, especially in the case of North Korea, because the country is self-sufficient".
Lisa Collins, a fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said other nations will be watching the United States at the U.N. next week to determine Trump's next steps.
United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the DPRK leadership "to cease further testing, comply with the relevant Security Council resolutions, and allow space to explore the resumption of honest dialogue on denuclearisation".