Report: US 'prepared to launch a preemptive strike' on North Korea

The U.S. military is "prepared to launch a preemptive strike" against North Korea if there are signs the country plans to test a nuclear weapon, as has been widely speculated, reports NBC News.

The media outlet broke this news, citing "multiple senior U.S. intelligence officials."

Insiders are said to have told NBC News that the U.S. has deployed two Tomahawk-equipped destroyers, heavy bombers, and an aircraft carrier to the region in a potential mission which could include air and land attacks.

Click through the celebration of North Korea's Kim Il-sung:

While the New York Times says that Trump administration officials have "vigorously denied" this report, tensions between the two countries have reached such a high level that China has described it as "storm clouds gathering."

Helping to prompt this escalation was North Korea's announcement that on Saturday, which would have been founding father Kim Il-sung's 105th birthday, there would be what they've called "a big and important event," reports USA Today.

Many experts suspect this event could be the country's sixth nuclear test which analysts have predicted based on satellite images of a North Korean nuclear test site.

Meanwhile, the rhetoric between the U.S. and North Korea has intensified, with President Trump tweeting on Tuesday, "North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A."

In response, North Korea issued a statement saying, "Nothing will be more foolish if the United States thinks it can deal with us the way it treated Iraq and Libya, miserable victims of its aggression, and Syria, which did not respond immediately even after it was attacked."

According to NBC News, China has reportedly sent officials to the isolated Asian country in the hopes of easing these tensions.