More than 60 Democratic lawmakers had expressed their "profound concern" over US President Donald Trump's threatening rhetoric about North Korea, insisting that any military attack "must be debated and authorized by Congress."
In a letter, 64 House Democrats urged Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to make sure Trump's rhetoric is met with the "utmost caution and restraint."
"These statements are irresponsible and dangerous, and also senselessly provide a boon to domestic North Korean propaganda which has long sought to portray the United States as a threat to their people," read the letter which was spearheaded by Rep. John Conyers of Missouri.
The warning came after President Trump said the US would respond with "fire and fury" to any threat from North Korea.
North Korea carried out two tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month. Pyongyang claimed that its latest missile, test-fired on July 4, can deliver a "large, heavy nuclear warhead" to the US continent.
North Korea responded to Trump's rhetoric by threatening to attack the American Pacific island territory of Guam. On Thursday, Trump said his original statement "wasn't tough enough."
The congressmen said such statements had dramatically increased tensions with North Korea and raised the specter of nuclear war."
They further warned that Trump would be held responsible by Congress and the American people if a "careless and ill-advised miscalculation results in conflict that endangers our service members and regional allies."
Meanwhile, James Clapper, former director of National Intelligence, said he feared the president's rhetoric could "spiral" out of control into a global conflict.
"It's somewhat reminiscent to me of the history of World War I and how the world kind of blundered into that," Clapper said in an interview with CNN.
"I hope people learn from history and don't repeat that. I don't think we are there yet. I think there is still time for other measures, sanctions, diplomacy and all those kind of things," the former spy master warned.
Clapper said the US and North Korea could "blunder" into global military conflict as they exchange escalating hostilities.
The White House said in statement early on Saturday that US military forces "stand ready" to safeguard Guam following North Korea's threat.
The statement added that Trump had "reassured" Guam Governor Eddie Calvo that the US military would "ensure the safety and security of the people of Guam, along with the rest of America."
The US president also spoke with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping by phone to discuss rising tensions over North Korea, it said. "President Trump and President Xi agreed North Korea must stop its provocative and escalatory behavior."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team