"Military Action Is On The Table": Tillerson Warns "Patience" With North Korea Has Ended

Tyler Durden's picture

The U.S. policy of "strategic patience" with North Korea has ended, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in South Korea on Friday quoted by Reuters, adding that military action would be "on the table" if North Korea elevated the threat level. Tillerson said that 20 years of trying to persuade North Korea to abandon its nuclear program had "failed" and that he was visiting Asia “to exchange views on a new approach.”

“I think it’s important to recognize that the political and diplomatic efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to the point of denuclearization have failed,” Tillerson said. "Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table," Tillerson told a news conference in Seoul and added that any North Korean actions that threatened the South would be met with "an appropriate response."

Rex Tillerson speaks as South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-Se looks on

during a news conference in Seoul, South Korea March 17, 2017.

"If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table," Tillerson said when asked about military action.

The harshly worded warning came as Tillerson began his first Asian visit as secretary of state; after Japan and South Korea, he will travel to China on Saturday with a main focus on finding a "new approach" on North Korea after what he described as two decades of failed efforts to denuclearize the insular nation.

Soon after Tillerson’s remarks, in a sign of mounting tensions, the North Korean Embassy held an extraordinary news conference in Beijing to blame the potential for nuclear war on the United States while vowing that its homegrown nuclear testing program will continue in self-defense, the WaPo added. North Korea has amassed a sizable nuclear stockpile and appears at the brink of being able to strike the U.S. mainland and American allies in Asia. The rising threat from the isolated military dictatorship has prompted the Trump administration to begin assessing its options for how to respond and serves as an early test for how the president will confront an increasingly volatile international situation.

Tillerson also called on China to implement sanctions against North Korea and said there was no need for China to punish South Korea for deploying an advanced U.S. anti-missile system aimed at defending against North Korea. In recent weeks China has lashed out at the Korean deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) system's powerful radar, saying it is a threat to its security.

"We believe these actions are unnecessary and troubling," Tillerson said, referring to what South Korea sees as Chinese retaliation in the form of business restrictions in response to the deployment of the missile system. "We also believe it is not the way for a regional power to help resolve what is a serious threat for everyone. So we hope China will alter its position on punishing South Korea. We hope they will work with us to eliminate the reason THAAD is required."

South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se told the joint news conference the missile system was only intended to defend against North Korea, not any other country, although China clearly does not see it that way.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches since the beginning of last year. Last week, it launched four more ballistic missiles and is working to develop nuclear-tipped missiles that can reach the United States. Meanwhile, China has resented U.S. pressure to do more on North Korea and says it is doing all it can but will not take steps to threatened the livelihoods of the North Korean people. Beijing has urged North Korea to stop its nuclear and missile tests and said South Korea and the United States should stop joint military exercises and seek talks instead.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying reiterated that talks were the best way to resolve the problems of the Korean peninsula. "As a close neighbor of the peninsula, China has even more reason than any other country to care about the situation," she told a briefing.

Hua also said the THAAD would "upset the regional strategic balance". Its radar, with a range of more than 2,000 km (1,250 miles), meant it could cover a large part of China, far outside the scope of the threat South Korea faces, Hua said. "We do not oppose South Korean taking necessary measures to protect its security, but these measures cannot be based upon harming the security interests of South Korea's friendly neighbor, China," she said.

Meanwhile, as previewed one week ago, the odds of an unexpected North Korean WMD attack are rising. According to the Predata-Beyond Parallel concultancy's prediction model, there was a 43% chance of North Korean WMD activity taking place in the next 14 days (as of last Friday), while in the next 23 days, there is a 62% chance for North Korean WMD activity. Beyond Parallel defines WMD activity as nuclear tests and ballistic missile launches. A military response by the US now looks increasingly probable.

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Debugas's picture

all options on the table including WW3

Norma Lacy's picture

So the lies go forth once again.   Trumpstein is just another war profiteer in a long line of murkan scoundrels.

There WAS a nuclear agreement made with North Korea during the Clinton regime.  (surprise surprise)  Bushboy broke it and bragged about how brave he was.   O'Bomber spent at least the last three years of his regime sabotaging NK misslie launches (can you say "stuntnuts" hahahaha)   which one would need to call a covert, undeclared by Con-Gress act of war.... of course NK is paranoid.   Can you say "just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you."     So finally after sixteen years, NK thinks they may be able to protect themselves from the pillaging empire  and Tiller-fuck comes along with his bully boy bullshit.

Really.  And... guess who just got appointed to the Trumpstein regime?   A Boeing exec.   Guess who just got yet another huge .gov contract?   Surprise surprise.   

Same swamp.  New reptiles.



Arrest Hillary's picture

I'm not a "Neo-Con" .... I'm a "Paleo-Con" .... it's fun to tweek these these "Neo-Norkers" .... they are soooo serious ?

Miss Informed's picture

Does that mean you belong in the past?

Arrest Hillary's picture

I'm past, present and future .... don't put all your hopes in the "UN-ification" of Korea .... the little pariah is doomed ?

silverer's picture

You're thinking of an "Anachrocon".

Arrest Hillary's picture

When the Norks are defeated .... and the Souks of Seoul .... unify the country .... it will be like having another Japan in our "Arsenal of Allies" ? Note: See Berlin wall and German re-unification.

QuantumEasing's picture

Last time I checked (two years, eight months ago), there were no Souks in South Korea.

Mohammedians have not been too successful at penetrating the religious market in Korea.



Perhaps less posty, more study?

Stan522's picture

How tough would it be to send in our Special Forces.....?

All they would have to do is look for the only fat asian in the entire country and pull the trigger......

Arrest Hillary's picture

I'd like to see a super slow motion video of a hollow point, soft lead AA projectile .... impacting his fat little Buddha Belly .... when the shit hits the cam moment ?

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

too bad we  don't just kill the leadership and never threaten or say anything about it..

in N Korea that is a very small number and very doable..but we gotta open our big mouths and make war on the little people..

funny how that works.


im-a-nut-job's picture

Install a central bank all is not lost.

OCnStiggs's picture






TeaClipper's picture

Complete bullshit. Grow up man and open your eyes. This is not about North Korea. This is the US threatening China, a warning not to crash the US economy, or else.

silverer's picture

Actually, China has been right next to North Korea all these years and managed to AVOID any conflict. The US will go out of its way to the other side of the planet to have a SECOND war with North Korea. Keep in mind, North Korea has not attacked anyone yet. The US, a long, long time ago in a distant galaxy, used to go to war after it was attacked. Now the US goes to war when the coffee gets cold.

escapeefromOZ's picture

Called by who ?  If  South Korea calls you , why do not leave to the Koreans to sort it out ? Has the USA ever considering minding its own business .like ...... The Khazars in charge of everything , the roads and infrastructures falling apart , the health systems is a disaster, the unemployment is about 23 % , the dollar that in about 100 years has lost over 98 % of the value , 9.1 trillions dollars lost by the Pentagon , the CIA and the alphabet agencies out of control and staffed by criminals ,

and the continuing wars for the greater Israel wet dream ? When will Amerika wake up ?


Miss Informed's picture


DelusionsCrowded's picture

China didn't Kill Kim the Fatters brother but they should have seen this scam coming .

Phillyguy's picture

The empire is in decline, so it wants to open up a new war theater in North Korea, which borders China and Russia. How would the US respond if China or Russia attacked Mexico or Canada? Not only is Trump going to destroy our economy, he may well get our country blown up.

TeaClipper's picture

China should just dump all its US bonds and pull the plug on these rabid dogs.

rwe2late's picture

 North Korea is portrayed as the rogue state,

but it is the US government that threatens "pre-emptive " attacks,

both convntional and nuclear.

And it is the US that has attacked many non-nuclear armed nations,

including allegedly "by mistake".

And the US has repeatedly rejected North Korean offers to disarm its atomic weapons

in exchange for a non-aggression treaty.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Or we could send The Pineapple Express crew over to take Lil' Kim out.

metanoic's picture

Sounds like the bottom feeders have NK in the queue for a shiny new central bank.

PoasterToaster's picture
PoasterToaster (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 8:01 AM

Why?  What is the life-or-death burning reason why you must constantly fuck with North Korea? 

Do they have reactors that need to be bombed to prevent them from getting nuclear weapons?  Are the phone lines to China down, so you can't call them and tell them to make their lapdog shut up?  Are you embarrassed because these weirdos can grab headlines whenever they want and outshine you in the news cycle?

What fucking reason do Americans have for wanting to start a bunch of shit in North Korea?  Maybe you idiots in the US Government should think about getting people behind you before you start another goddamn war. 

Here's a hint:  Nobody wants a war and there's nothing you can do at this point to gin one up, short of nuking a city in the US, killing your own people.  That 9/11 bullshit set the bar so high you have to go completely batshit insane on the next one.

DelusionsCrowded's picture

The West distruction of Libya made this sort of outcome intevitable.

tbone10's picture

Prepare for the draft, this is gonna be nice to watch get your popcorn you miserable losers

Radical Pragmatist's picture

Article I, Section 8, Clause 11 of the United States Constitution, sometimes referred to as the War Powers Clause, vests in the Congress the power to declare war, in the following wording:

[The Congress shall have Power...] To declare War, grant Letters of Marque and Reprisal, and make Rules concerning Captures on Land and Water;

Pardon me while I go flush my copy of the Constitution down the toilet...

Ricki13th's picture

LMAO Neocons are bloodthirsty isn't it funny that the economy is heading into a recession and so the war drums start beating. We need oil for all the machinery and vechicles and airplane. 

VanillaSkyGuy's picture

Got it, we raised rates Wednesday because we are in a recession.  And this makes makes you "LMAO", I bet you are also ticklish, and you that you are one of those guys that laughs really ez. 

Come on guys!! Kim Jung Un is exactly like Lesley Chow... I think Kim Jung would be a real hoot at the Ballet.  I for one would like to snort a few rails with the guy before we Bloodthirsty Neocons run an Operation Rolling Thunder Train up N.K.'s A$$.  Who's wth me?   

PitBullsRule's picture

Keep laughing shit head, that family of insane criminals has been raping little girls they collect throughout N Korea for decades, when they capture people that have escaped from N Korea, they break their bones and send them back alive in coffins, where they are tortured until they die.  They have commited some of the worlds most evil crimes.  The US has waited patiently for Asia to stop it since the late '40's.  The US has kept its nose out of N Korea, and the N Koreans are now launching missiles in our direction.


So keep laughing you ignorant piece of shit, the world is full of laughers like you that sit back and watch terror happening to children.

trulz4lulz's picture

Kinda like how our leaders facilitate the kidnappings of kids then rape them at Epsteins Island and send their bodies to be melted by Mr Flinstone, in Hawaii?? Is it that bad? Or are you just projecting in order to protect your blood drinking, stem cell gulping masters?

QuantumEasing's picture

One minor point: ((The Masters)) take their stem cells IV, gulping them is not an effective MOA.

TEOTWAIKI's picture

Did anyone notice in the lead photo that Yun Byung-Selooks looks (almost) exactly like abraham Lincoln. How strange.

The theater goes on...

QuantumEasing's picture

Yeah. I'd get a makeover ASAP if I was him.

The "murdering despot" look is never "in."

History IS hilarious though. I wonder if he will sacrifice half a million or more of his countrymen for "forced unification."

Never repeats, but usually rhymes.

GodSpeed_00's picture

This won't turn into WW3 North Korea is not important enough

Ricki13th's picture

If we get in a miltary conflict with NK its WW3 all these past years of military movement and sabberrattling with escalate it just needs the trigger to spark.

PitBullsRule's picture

No its not WW3, the only country that seems to tolerate those assholes is China.  China is not going to fight the US because of Kim Jung Un, they aren't that stupid.  Kim Jung Un is an insane criminal that has been killing, torturning, and raping people for decades.  He and all of his followers need to be killed and that country could be like South Korea, prosperous.


Why are you such an asshole?

QuantumEasing's picture

At the end of the day, the only fundamental difference between the North and the South is that denizens of the South have access to much better consumer goods to go along with the boots on their necks.

My question: have you actually been there?

Wild E Coyote's picture

Facts are as follows:

A North Korean diplomat said  that Pyongyang must act in self-defense against the U.S.-South Korea military drills, which he said have brought the region to the brink of nuclear war. He said the drills were aimed at using atomic weapons for a pre-emptive strike against North Korea.

Thus it was US under Obama who was promoting war.

Tillerson says, "North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or their neighbors in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea," the secretary of state told a news conference in Tokyo. "With this in mind, the United States calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs and refrain from any further provocation."

And under Trump no provocative drills or actions have been taken. But strong words have indeed been used. 

I beg ZH stop quoting the MSM.  And do reporting of what is actually happening. 

rejected's picture

Flying B1's and B52's into SK isn't exactly a peace initiative. Neither is war games on the peninsula practicing the incineration of NK.


Northern Flicker's picture

The US has been provoking NK for 50 years and never signed a peace treaty with them.  Libya gave up its WMDs and look what happened. I blame US war hawks all around.  

Hyjinx's picture

This is a tough one.  NK getting nuclear ICBMs really is a bridge too far as you never know what such a regime might do just before it collapses - they may be more fanatical than Muslims.  I think applying pressure to the point where China feels it actually needs to disarm NK is a good idea.  If China won't get it done then I guess we'll have to in conjunction with SK - China cannot be allowed to call our bluff on this.  It is a pile of shit that happens to be maturing on Trump's watch from all the feckless "leaders" we've had before.  Seems like a theme that will be common in his Administration.

rejected's picture

The only reason NK may have nukes is due to William Jefferson Clinton supplying them with the reactors and fuel.  This was planned. This is how they start wars. China could not even produce plow's until we handed them our manufacturing. They could have just as easily built them coal fired plants and supply them with the tons of coal we have in the US. Don't blame NK for taking advantage of this.

You want to know who is behind this,,, look toward the Potomac.

rejected's picture

The last time the US Army took on the Chinese they lost their ass. I do not think the Chinese will allow the destruction of N. Korea. The US has been just itching for a war,,,any war,,, conventional,, nuclear its government cares less. This will NOT be a Iraq or Afghanistan. The US got there asses routed from Vietnam. Asians have a different view when being invaded.

Like Korea in 1950 China has already warned. The S. Koreans are risking annihilation. The US is risking incineration. I can only hope Americans are capable of understanding this as their ability at critical thinking has been curtailed by the education system and media of today.

I could care less about Kim,,, I have pity on the NK people but the US need to stop waging these wars. It's becoming clear that Mr. Trump has no problem with these useless wars even knowing the US monetary problems.

And please remember, the people in our government doing this have bunkers to retreat to.... 

What do you have?

TeaClipper's picture

Trump is waging this war exactly because of its monetary problems. This isnt about a pissy little country like North Korea. This is the US sending China a message, should it decide to dump US debt and crash the western banking system. The question is, to what extent are China part of the globalist agenda?

PitBullsRule's picture

Whatever floats your boat, asshole

PitBullsRule's picture

The US never fought the Chinese.  We had a police action against the North Koreans.  Your making an error because you are forgetting that the US backs down because they don't want to use nuclear weapons.  If the US were to use nuclear weapons, then we would win.  

QuantumEasing's picture

Quoth Rejected:

"And please remember, the people in our government doing this have bunkers to retreat to....

What do you have?"

Oh, it's just me and this crate of puppets.