The U.S. has knocked back a call to ease sanctions on North Korea despite threats of further provocations, with President Donald Trump saying he would "take care of" any threats the regime had in the works.

Washington was responding to a U.N. Security Council proposal by China and Russia to lessen the economic embargo on North Korea. The countries — Cold War allies of North Korea who have recently repaired their ties with leader Kim Jong Un — said the changes were warranted because the regime had complied with United Nations resolutions and needed "humanitarian and livelihood" relief, according to a draft provided by diplomats who asked not to be named.

The U.S. rejected the proposal, saying it was premature to ease sanctions while North Korea advances prohibited weapons systems and threatens escalation, according to a State Department official who asked not be named. The U.S. remained committed to achieving North Korea's "complete denuclearization" through negotiations, the official said.