Amid growing tensions, Washington's National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster says the North's nuclear program is the "greatest immediate threat" to the United States - that the risk of war with North Korea is growing every day, and that Washington is in a race to find a solution.
McMaster said that North Korea dictator Kim Jong-un's nuclear ambitions are the gravest national security threat that America faces.
Japan announced Friday it will host a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council on December 15 focused on finding peaceful ways to pressure North Korea to halt its nuclear and ballistic missile tests and denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
"We are as a council working towards the way in which, the peaceful way, of putting pressure on North Korea, so that they would change their policy", he said.
Trump has said he spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping about Pyongyang's "provocative actions", and he vowed that additional major sanctions will be imposed on North Korea.
News about the launch comes within days of North Korea launching a new type of intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).
On Saturday Russia's Foreign Affairs Minister Sergei Lavrov reiterated his country's condemnation of the missile test.
North Korea reacted angrily on Sunday to the air manoeuvres, accusing the US and South Korea of a "grave military provocation" that will "push the already acute situation on the Korean Peninsula to the brink of nuclear war".
North Korean officials made similar comments last month.
North Korea has warned that a "reckless" joint military drill by the US and South Korea could spark a nuclear war.
While condemning the latest test, the Kremlin's Peskov said: "We hope that all the sides involved are able to preserve calm, which is so necessary to avoid the situation on the Korean peninsula sliding towards a worst-case scenario". The United States has 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the 1950-53 Korean War.
The exercises come less than a week after Pyongyang fired off an intercontinental ballistic missile it claims can reach the "whole" mainland of the United States. "U.N. Security Council measures".
I gave this talk about strategic confidence, it's really an element of reclaiming our strategic confidence, is having confidence in what unifies us as Americans.
But analysts remain unconvinced that the North has mastered the technology required to launch and direct a missile, and ensure it survives the hard re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.