North Korea has reportedly conducted testing of a new rocket engine that could be used for satellite launch or for an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
"Let me be very clear, the policy of strategic patience has ended", Tillerson said, referring to the policy pursued by the administration of former U.S. President Barack Obama. "All options are on the table".
"We need to strengthen strategic mutual trust and increase mutual awareness", Xi told visiting US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson when they met in the Great Hall of the People yesterday.
The test was in response to ongoing annual military exercises by Seoul and Washington in South Korea, which Pyongyang considers a provocation and a rehearsal for invading its territory.
The threatening release comes as the US and South Korea engage in military exercises.
The sanctions would particularly target Chinese banks and firms that do the business with North Korea, according to the administration officials familiar with the deliberations.
North Korea has accelerated its weapons development, violating multiple UN Security Council resolutions without being deterred by sanctions. "The nuclear force of [North Korea] is the treasured sword of justice and the most reliable war deterrence". But if Pyongyang were to "elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, then that option's on the table".
While building ever better long-range missiles and smaller nuclear warheads to pair with them, North Korea has marked a number of successes in its space program.
For years, the USA has believed that China could single-handedly end North Korea's nuclear advances, as the nuclear-armed nation is economically dependent on Beijing. If West Germany had some uncomfortable moments taking in East Germany after two generations of Russian-style communism, how good a fit will North Koreans be to the technologically advanced South Korea?
It shows recent North Korean missile tests and footage from joint military drills by the United States and South Korea, along with doctored images of the USS Carl Vinson on fire.
Washington and Seoul claim that the missile system is for defense against North Korea, which has conducted numerous ballistic missile tests in the past, including most recently on March 6.
Trump traveled to his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla. this weekend and said he discussed North Korea's missile launches during his weekend meetings. Tillerson, however, stressed that cooperation with Japan and South Korea was "critical".
Seoul, the capital of South Korea, is just 35 miles from the border with North Korea.
Earlier this month, a men's Asian Cup qualifier between North Korea and Malaysia was postponed after the Malaysian FA asked for the game to be moved away from Pyongyang following a breakdown in relations.