Turning now to North Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said that North Korea is trying to build a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.
Speaking at a seminar at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on Friday, Esper said that Pyeongyang is quote "clearly" trying to build a missile that's capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.
He also said that North Korea already has an aggressive R&D program and a test program, to say the least, claiming that Washington has been closely watching its movements.
Even so, the top U.S. official stressed that Washington seeks to solve the issue through diplomatic dialogue.
He called on North Korea to return to the negotiating table and together find ways to move towards the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
The latest statement comes after North Korea recently suggested it could restart its nuclear and missile development amid stalled negotiations between the two countries..