In a prepared speech for delivery at New York's Asia Society Monday, Donilon, top security adviser to U.S. President Barack Obama, said for 60 years, the United States has been committed to ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.
"This means deterring North Korean aggression and protecting our allies. And it means the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Donilon said.
"The United States will not accept North Korea as a nuclear state; nor will we stand by while it seeks to develop a nuclear-armed missile that can target the United States."
The warning came as North Korea, an isolated, impoverished Communist country, continues to issue dangerous threats against the United States and its neighbors in reaction to the latest series of tough U.N. Security Council sanctions for its Feb. 12 nuclear test and its earlier long-range missile test.
Calling for close and expanded cooperation with Japan and South Korea in the face of the North's provocations, he said unity is "as crucial to the search for a diplomatic solution as it is to deterrence."
Donilon said prospects for a peaceful resolution of the issue also would require close U.S. coordination with China's new government, adding no country, including China, should conduct 'business as usual' with North Korea.
"China's interest in stability on the Korean Peninsula argues for a clear path to ending North Korea's nuclear program," he said.
Donilon said the United States welcomes China's support at the Security Council.
On the North's threats against the United States, Donilon said: "North Korea's claims may be hyperbolic – but as to the policy of the United States, there should be no doubt: we will draw upon the full range of our capabilities to protect against, and to respond to, the threat posed to us and to our allies by North Korea."
The threats would include any North Korean use of weapons of mass destruction and its transfer of nuclear weapons or nuclear materials to other states or non-state entities, he said.