Mullen: We're closer to a nuclear war with North Korea than ever before

Retired Adm. Mike Mullen on Sunday warned the U.S. is closer to a nuclear war with North Korea than ever before. 

"We're actually closer, in my view, to a nuclear war with North Korea and in that region than we've ever been," Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on ABC's "This Week." 

"I don't see the opportunities to solve this diplomatically at this particular point," he continued. 

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Mullen's warning comes as tensions continue to increase between North Korea and the international community. 

The United Nations (U.N.) Security Council voted unanimously earlier this month to impose new sanctions on North Korea aimed at strangling the country's already isolated economy.

The sanctions were in response to the country's ongoing intercontinental ballistic missile test launches.   

Pyongyang swiftly responded to the vote, calling the move an "act of war" that violates peace and stability in the region. 

Relations between Washington and Pyongyang have also rapidly declined in recent months. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpEx-ethics chief calls on Trump to end 'monstrous' migrant policies Laura Bush blasts Trump migrant policy as 'cruel' and 'immoral' US denies report of coalition airstrike on Syria MORE vowed to destroy North Korea if the country continued to threaten the U.S., speaking during his maiden speech at the U.N. earlier this year. 

The rhetoric does not appear to have deterred Pyongyang, which has continued to develop its missile program.