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Defence Secretary Jim Mattis today warned North Korea to "stand down" from pursuing nuclear weapons and cease considering actions that would lead to the "end of its regime", after Pyongyang threatened missile strikes against U.S. strategic military installations in Guam.

Britain's UN ambassador said the United Kingdom "stands shoulder to shoulder with the United States" in tackling the nuclear threat from North Korea and making sure it can not pursue its nuclear and ballistic missile programmes. The DPRK should cease any consideration of actions that would lead to the end of its regime and the destruction of its people.

The statement goes on to state, "President Trump was informed of the growing threat last December, and on taking office his first orders to me emphasized the readiness of our ballistic missile defense and nuclear deterrent forces". "As said, they will be met with fire, fury, and, frankly, power the likes of which this world has never seen before", he said.

Mr Mattis issued the stern warning one day after the Washington Post reported that North Korea had developed miniaturised nuclear warheads that could be capable of striking the United States.

He added that U.S. and allied militaries now have "the most precise, rehearsed and robust defensive and offensive capabilities on Earth".

Despite the statement by Mattis, U.S officials say that for now, additional assets have not been moved to the region and the threat assessment has not changed.

Tension in the region has risen since North Korea carried out two nuclear bomb tests past year and two intercontinental ballistic missile tests in July. "Hopefully we will never have to use this power, but there will never be a time that we are not the most powerful nation in the world!"

DPRK stands for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the official name of North Korea.

"If the North Koreans were to strike Guam and kill a lot of Americans it would lead to a war which would destroy North Korea, so my guess is this is bluffing on both sides", he said.

Mattis stressed that his first talks with Trump centered around the US's ability to defend against and deter nuclear missile attacks. The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed new sanctions on North Korea on Saturday.

Trump's language towards North Korea has become increasingly hard-edged since Pyongyang carried out a pair of successful intercontinental ballistic missile tests (ICBM) in July, which put the United States mainland in range for the first time.

US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis says they are trying the diplomatic route with North Korea, but also stressed the might of the US would overwhelm the Asian nation's military.

So far, Florida's highest ranking Democrat isn't criticizing President Donald Trump's response.