USA 'not seeking regime change' in North Korea, says Tillerson

James Marshall
August 2, 2017

The United States does not seek to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang at some point, but only on the understanding that it can never be a nuclear power, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday. "We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel", Tillerson said. "We are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us and we have to respond". "And we hope that at some point they will begin to understand that and we would like to sit and have a dialog with them".

"The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the president nor I were very happy about that".

The conciliatory tone and the emphasis on dialogue represented a pronounced contrast with Donald Trump, who has become significantly more agitated about North Korea as it continues its tests of long range missiles.

"It's really the best point in time for a U.S. president to do it", Witt said of peace talks with North Korea, referencing recent ICBM tests that show the United States mainland is at risk of nuclear attack.

"He has told me that".

He said other options were "not particularly attractive". It's one in which I feel quite comfortable telling him my views.

In the past, the U.S. has tried to engage North Korea in the hopes that the country would denuclearize, but with North Korea's sweeping advancements in missile technology and its inclusion of nuclear weapons into its constitution, that seems increasingly unlikely.

Syria is a test to see if the USA and Russian Federation can work together on areas of mutual interest, such as combating "radical Islamist terrorism" such as Al-Qaeda and Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL).

South Korea said the test had prompted it to speed up deployment of a USA missile defence system, despite consistent protests from China that the programme would destabilise the region.

There remain doubts whether the North can miniaturise a nuclear weapon to fit a missile nose cone, or if it has mastered the technology needed for the projectile to survive re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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