US National Security Adviser H R McMaster speaks with an aide as he arrives with President Donald Trump at Osan Air Base, South Korea. Reuters / Jonathan Ernst

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President Donald Trump’s National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster and US Sen. Lindsey Graham both beat the war drum over the weekend, saying that chances of war with North Korea are growing in the wake of Pyongyang’s firing of a new long-range missile on November 29.

“There are ways to address this problem short of armed conflict, but it is a race because (Kim’s) getting closer and closer, and there’s not much time left,” McMaster said at the Reagan National Defense Forum in Simi Valley, Calif. on Saturday.

Graham, an influential senator from South Carolina and a former presidential candidate told CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that pre-emptive war with North Korea is “becoming more likely” as Pyongyang’s weapons technology “matures.”

“We’re getting close to a military conflict because North Korea’s marching toward marrying up the technology of an ICBM with a nuclear weapon on top that cannot only get to America but deliver the weapon,” Graham said. “We’re running out of time.”

Discussion with White House

Asked how close the United States was to a military clash with Pyongyang, Graham replied that he had an “extensive discussion” with the Donald Trump administration on this topic and said, “If there’s an underground nuclear test, then you need to get ready for a very serious response by the United States.”

North Korea conducted its last nuclear test on September 3. Pyongyang also fired a Hwasong-15 ICBM into the East Sea on Wednesday. It’s believed to have flown 13,000 kilometers (8,077 miles), putting targets in the US mainland in range.

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