The consensus view among Trump, Mattis and McMaster, according to several officials briefed on their thinking, is that this conflict is heading towards two options, both with high risks: escalated confrontation with China and the military option…

If pressure on China fails and North Korea gets close to having a nuclear missile that can hit any U.S. state, top officials insist they will take action.

Trump sounded the war drums early on because he was told this is a very live, if super dangerous and difficult, option.

Officials have not laid out to us how this could unfold without putting millions of South Koreans and thousands of Americans at risk for deadly retribution.