US ambassador to NATO, Kay Bailey, said that talks were in the “very early stages” to trigger Article 5 of the NATO founding treaty.
This is the founding principle of the treaty that enshrines the notion of collective defence.
Ms Bailey said: “We believe it is a common threat. If it becomes a successful possibility it will not be just America, it will be a much more problematic situation and I think that is beginning to come to the forefront.
“Talks are in the very early stages. There are so many steps that would have to be taken before we would get to that point and it would depend on what kind of attack it is, where it is.”
This is the first time Article 5 has been invoked since the September 11 attacks.
The talks come following months of tensions with North Korea following tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) which were first tested in July.
Last month, the hermit kingdom tested a missile capable of reaching the US.
President Trump met with top defence officials on Tuesday to discuss his options.
In a statement, the White House said: “This morning President Donald Trump met with members of his national security team to receive a briefing from Secretary of Defence James Mattis and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Joseph Dunford.
“The briefing and discussion focused on a range of options to respond to any form of North Korean aggression or, if necessary, to prevent North Korea from threatening the United States and its allies with nuclear weapons.”
After the meeting, the US flew two supersonic bombers over the Korean peninsula.
In response, North Korea said it will complete the “nuclear sword of justice” as the despotic regime is “unfazed by sanctions”, Kim Jong-un’s state mouthpiece declared.
North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho said: “Pyongyang is holding firm to its long-held promise that it will never denuclearise. The nation’s leadership views its nuclear stockpile as a sword of justice.”
State propaganda said: “North Korea is demonstrating its might as a world military power equipped with latest strike equipment, including ICBM, H-bomb and ballistic missile from strategic submarines.
“This proud reality is the brilliant fruition of the faith and will of the army and people of the DPRK who stand unfazed by any sanctions, pressure and military threats and blackmail by the enemies.”
On Tuesday officials confirmed Donald Trump had been briefed by his generals on options to respond to North Korean “aggression”.
Source : EXPRESS