His order, reported in state media, came hours after US President Donald Trump late Tuesday warned Pyongyang not to "make any more threats" to the US, saying it would face a "fire and fury" response "like the world has never seen".
All the 11 major S&P indexed were lower, with technology sector's 0.62% leading the decliners.
At 10:57 a.m. ET (1457 GMT), the Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI was up 54.38 points, or 0.25 percent, at 21,898.39, the S&P 500 .SPX was up 8.69 points, or 0.35 percent, at 2,446.90.
The CBOE Volatility Index, the most widely followed barometer of expected near-term stock market volatility, rose to a near three-month high of 15.36.
The Nasdaq Composite .IXIC was up 34.61 points, or 0.56 percent, at 6,251.48.
The last time the S&P 500 fell over 1 percent was on May. 17. Shanghai's main index also tumbled 1.6 percent to 3,208.54 while Australia's S&P/ASX 200 dropped 1.2 percent to 5,693.10.
European stocks fell Thursday, with caution still lingering as tension between USA and North Korea escalated, and as German consumer goods company Henkel AG & Co. was among the companies whose shares pulled the market toward a second consecutive decline, MarketWatch reports.
Retailers' results are being keenly watched by investors to gauge the companies' strategy to counter No. 1 online retailer Amazon.com's growth.
THE QUOTE: "Inflation - or lack of -- has been an ongoing problem for the central bank and some policy makers have voiced concerns about this in recent months as they consider whether to raise interest rates again this year", said Craig Erlam, senior market analyst at OANDA.
In other news, USA wholesale inflation dropped in July, the first contraction in almost a year and another data point that could weaken the case for the Federal Reserve to raise the benchmark interest rate again later this year.
And Blue Apron shares dipped after its first earnings report as a public company.
Perrigo surged 17.6 percent after the drugmaker raised its full-year adjusted profit forecast.
Declining issues outnumbered advancing ones on the TSX by 164 to 80, for a 2.05-to-1 ratio on the downside. On the Nasdaq, 1,440 issues fell and 1,386 advanced.