Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said he's more concerned about North Korea launching a cyber attack on the U.S. than any direct military action.
“In the case of North Korea, you know, a kinetic threat against the United States right now I don’t think is likely, but certainly a cyber threat,” he said in an interview set to air Sunday with NBC's "Meet the Press."
“So we would raise various threat levels in the event that something happened and we felt as though there were a possible threat. You always want to come down on the side of caution.”
Tensions are running high between North Korea and the U.S. in the wake of continued missile testing. The Pentagon recently sent an aircraft carrier strike group to North Korean waters.
“The United States and South Korea and North Korea are engaging in tit for tat, with swords drawn and bows bent,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in warning against gathering “storm clouds.”
“We urge all parties to refrain from inflammatory or threatening statements or deeds to prevent irreversible damage to the situation on the Korean Peninsula.”
A top North Korean official on Friday vowed his nation is prepared to preemptively strike the U.S. should it see any “reckless” American military action.
“Whatever comes from the U.S., we will cope with it,” Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said. “We are fully prepared to handle it.”
NBC News reported Thursday that the U.S. is ready to launch a preemptive strike against North Korea should it move to test another nuclear weapon.
The U.S. blamed North Korea for a massive hack of film studio Sony Pictures in 2014.