The White House appears ready to up the pressure on North Korea.
At a rally in Louisville, Kentucky, on Monday night, U.S. President Donald Trump took aim at the North, garnering jeers from his audience.
He said: "What's happening there is disgraceful and not smart."
It's not the first time in recent days that Trump has fired shots at the regime.
He took to Twitter last Friday, describing Kim Jong-un as 'behaving very badly."
(Reuters 5220) And in reaction to North Korea's rocket engine test over the weekend, potentially for the development of an intercontinental ballistic missile, he said:
(English: Reuters 7125)
"I have meetings on North Korea, who's acting very, very badly. I will tell you he is acting very, very badly."
His criticism seems to be coalescing into policy, as reports are emerging that the Trump administration is considering introducing more sanctions on the regime.
Reuters said on Tuesday that Trump's national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, is putting together a policy recommendation that includes cutting off Pyongyang from global financial institutions, and coming down especially hard on Chinese banks and firms that do business with them.
This could be presented to Trump before he hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at a summit next month, where North Korea is expected to be high on the agenda.
The U.S. Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, is thought to have brought up the potential for secondary sanctions with Chinese leaders during his Asia trip last week, but it's not clear how the officials responded.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.