You are not permitted to download, save or email this image. Visit image gallery to purchase the image.
Prime Minister Bill English says Donald Trump's latest threat against North Korea is "not helpful" in what is a "very tense" situation.
"I think the comments are not helpful, and in an environment at the moment that is very tense. Everyone wants to avoid military confrontation, and the path ahead there is for North Korea to comply with the UN sanctions and for international pressure to push them in that direction."
New Zealand had not expressed its concern to the US, Mr English said, but would do so if Trump continued to make similar remarks.
Foreign Minister Gerry Brownlee is working with officials on "what to make of the comments and what the implications might be", Mr English said.
"I am worried those comments are not helpful when the situation is so tense, and I think you are seeing reaction from North Korea that indicates that kind of comment is more likely to escalate than to settle things."
Trump warned North Korea on Tuesday that the US would unleash "fire and fury" upon the rogue nation if its threats of nuclear warfare continue.
"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States," Trump said.
"They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen. [North Korean leader Kim Jong-un] has been very threatening beyond a normal state and as I said they will be met with fire and fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before."
Labour leader Jacinda Ardern was asked about Trump's comments today, but declined to comment as she had not been briefed.
On Monday Brownlee issued a press release welcoming a United Nations Security Council Resolution strengthening sanctions on North Korea, after the rogue nation tested intercontinental ballistic missiles on July 4 and 28.