President Donald Trump on Friday issued his bluntest warning yet to North Korea, saying the U.S. military is “locked and loaded” to respond to a Pyongyang provocation.

In a tweet, Trump said, “Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!

On Tuesday, The Washington Post, citing a confidential U.S. intelligence assessment, reported that the pariah state had successfully produced a miniaturized nuclear warhead that could fit inside its missiles.

The conflict escalated after a subsequent warning from Trump, using language similar to the North’s own frequent saber rattling: If it were to make any more threats against the U.S., the president said, Pyongyang “will be met with fire, fury, and frankly, power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”

Trump’s latest warning comes as China’s state-run newspaper said Beijing should remain neutral if North Korea launches an attack that threatens the United States. Pyongyang has threatened to fire missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam.

“China should also make clear that if North Korea launches missiles that threaten U.S. soil first and the U.S. retaliates, China will stay neutral,” the Global Times, which is widely read but does not represent government policy, said in an editorial.

“If the U.S. and South Korea carry out strikes and try to overthrow the North Korean regime and change the political pattern of the Korean Peninsula, China will prevent them from doing so,” it said.

CNBC’s Leslie Shaffer and Reuters contributed to this report

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