"We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel", he said.
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un tested another intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) Friday, demonstrating the ability to strike targets across the continental us, and defense intelligence analysts assess that North Korea will be able to field a reliable, nuclear-armed ICBM as early as next year.
China does account for 90 per cent of economic activity with North Korea, Tillerson said, adding that the Chinese have been very clear with the USA that they share the same objective of a denuclearised Korean Peninsula.
Tillerson added that the USA hopes that "at some point", North Korea will understand and sit down for a dialogue.
"We are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond".
Tillerson then restated China's "special and unique relationship" with North Korea and said the administration would "continue to call on them to use that influence with North Korea to create the conditions where we can have a productive dialogue".
He indicated the administration has few solutions other than to continuously put "ever-greater pressure" on the regime because other options, including a military attack, are "not particularly attractive".More news: PM Narendra Modi is unstoppable, says Nitish Kumar
Asked if the U.S. would strike first, Trump's press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said "all options are on the table", adding that Trump would not "broadcast" his decisions.
North Korea past year conducted its first successful submarine missile test, firing a missile called the the KN-11 or Pukguksong-1.
I applaud the Treasury Department for recently designating the Bank of Dandong as a primary money laundering concern; now is the time to take further action against other key violators that bankroll the North Korean mafia state, including Bank of China.
Graham said Trump would not allow "this madman to have a missile to hit America".
In June, US college student Otto Warmbier died following a prolonged detention in the country, provoking worldwide outrage and calls for action in congress. Warmbier had traveled to North Korea through a commercial tour company and was arrested for allegedly stealing a poster from his hotel.
But here too, Tillerson was more diplomatic. China accounts for 90 percent of North Korean trade.
Flight data on North Korea's most recent test, conducted Friday, showed that a broad part of the mainland United States, including Los Angeles and Chicago, is now in range of Pyongyang's weapons, according to analysts.