The U.S. is making plans for a military solution to the North Korea crisis and looking for ways to stop the development of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme, media reported, citing sources.

Three sources, including two former U.S. officials and a figure in administration, confirmed to The Telegraph newspaper that military options were being considered in the White House.

“The Pentagon is trying to find options that would allow them to punch the North Koreans in the nose, get their attention and show that we’re serious,” they said, as quoted by the newspaper.

The sources said that the White House has “dramatically” accelerated preparation for the military solution over recent months.

One of the options examined by the U.S. authorities is destroying a missile launch site to prevent Pyongyang from using it for a new test, according to the newspaper.

Washington hopes that it would show North Korean leader Kim Jong-un the U.S. determination to halt further nuclear development and trigger negotiations with Pyongyang.

The situation on the Korean Peninsula has deteriorated significantly this year due to North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests, all conducted in violation of the UN Security Council resolutions.

The United States and its allies have, in response, conducted massive military exercises in South Korea and in the vicinity of the Korean peninsula, and deployed military equipment in the region.

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