Concluding a week-long trip to South Korea and Japan, the NATO Secretary General held a press conference in Seoul, expressing the international military body's determination to face up to North Korea's continued nuclear and ballistic missile provocations.
"NATO takes that threat very seriously. The alliance maintains a strong deterrence posture. We have the capabilities and resolve to respond to any aggression."
However, he stressed that sanctions remained the best alternative to using force, saying doing nothing would be irresponsible, but military action would have devastating consequences.
The NATO chief also called for solidarity and cooperation between international partners in the face of a danger that not only threatens those in the region, but also the whole world.
"In my meetings, one powerful message has come through again and again. The challenges of the 21st century are too complex for any one nation to face alone."
It was a message he reiterated in a meeting with President Moon Jae-in, earlier on Thursday.
He also praised the way Seoul has been managing the tensions, while President Moon thanked NATO for supporting their diplomatic efforts with Pyongyang.
It's only the second time a NATO Secretary General has ever visited the Korean peninsula, and although Stoltenberg said he looked forward to working with Seoul again, it's hoped that the North Korea crisis can be resolved before another visit becomes necessary.
Kwon Jang-ho, Arirang News.