"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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PitBullsRule's picture

Its time to bomb the shit out of those assholes.  They have been a pest for many decades.  The people have been trained to believe Kim Jung Un is a god, because he raised them since birth to believe that.  Anybody that said otherwise would get tortured or killed.  They have a horrific record on human rights.  They are currently holding an American in jail for 15 years because he stole a sign as a souvenire.  The US needs to stop pussy footing around with those lunatics, they are a danger to the world, its time to bomb the shit out of them.  China is not going to do anything, niether will Japan.  The only country that can do it is the US, as usual, we get stuck cleaning up the worlds criminals.

Miss Informed's picture

Honestly, who cares? Is it worth the mess it will make? You want to blow up the world to rescue a petty thief?

QuantumEasing's picture

The world has already been blown up. Several times.

What's one more time, more or less?

Thordoom's picture

I expect you to volunteer immediately with your entire family.First one to go.

WitchCharmerrr's picture

Empty headed reasoning, coming from a clueless lunatic who doesn't realize that the world is our enemy precisely because the USA sticks it's unwanted finger in every pie while imagining that playing 'keystone cop' to the world's problems is the best foreign policy....Most countries feel like we deserve that nucear holocaust since we are STILL the only country in history who has ever used nukes in a war, And maybe WE are the big threat to the world....

The Gladiator's picture

Israel has illegal nukes. Israel has actually attacked the US military unprovoked. And don't get me started on the whole human rights thing. Remember when Israel ran over and killed a US citizen with a bulldozer? I would think that the biggest danger to the world would be some group of lunatics that claim rights to a land given to them by an invisable man in the sky and using a 2000 year old book THEY wrote as the contract for it, and then using deadly force against unarmed people to enforce it.

 

I'm not saying the little fat dude is a saint,I'm merely pointing out the absurdity of the US foreign policis.Our new best friend Vietnam; Our Asian lap dog Japan;Hell.Even Australia. It seems to me that they have a lot more at risk than that drunk uncle we all know as Sam. When they sold the public on the mere IDEA that Sadaam had WMD's, it was a coalition led by Sam to eradicate the pivotal point in the axis of evil.Don't threaten the USD, Gaddafi. "We came,we saw,he died. LOLOL!"Bin Laden,hiding in the shrinking poppy fields of Afghanistan. US policy said they all had to go. Israel has sold nuke plans to Russia yet they are our only real friend in the middle east. Here ya go CFR: Before Israel,we didn't have any enemies in the middle east.

Didn't proof read due to time constraints. Forgive the mistakes.

Rebel yell's picture

I agree with China, probably for the first time. To not first seek a peaceful resolution through negotiations would be a crime against humanity. It would be completely stupid and UNFORGIVABLE if peaceful negotiations are not the first option on the table!

zeroboris's picture

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,

Oh really? European missile defense pretends to be against North Korea and Iran, not any other country, too. But Russians don't believe to this fairy tale, and Chinese aren't less smart than Russians.

dsty's picture

Cool, time to deal with China and Russia's pit bull.

Oh, and all you commie shills here on ZH

zebrasquid's picture

Whatever happened to Ambassador Dennis Rodman?
Send him in to talk to his #1 fanboy.

truthalwayswinsout's picture

This is an amazingly simple problem. Have everyone boycott China until they turn the little twit over and the North surrenders to the South.

Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, EU and the US would permanently cripple the Chinese economy with just a two week boycott.

Just threatening and giving a date would end the problems once and for all.

But Walmart, and Apple would never permit it.

The Gladiator's picture

The prices at the lacal walmart,dollar general etc. would go through the roof. It would be a shitstorm of inflation. Truck drivers would sit idle as would dock workers. Two weeks would be enough time for them to recoup thier losses via selling US dollars they own.

Grandad Grumps's picture

Send in Dennis Rodman, a case of scotch and a fully armed battalion of hookers.

truthalwayswinsout's picture

This is an amazingly simple problem. Have everyone boycott China until they turn the little twit over and the North surrenders to the South.

Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Canada, South Korea, Thailand, EU and the US would permanently cripple the Chinese economy with just a two week boycott.

Just threatening and giving a date would end the problems once and for all.

But Walmart, and Apple would never permit it.

DaBard51's picture

The UN position, what is it?  or, crickets?

 

 

 

When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

Omega_Man's picture

why can't nk test it's missiles as all nations do?

TheOpposition.'s picture

North Korea, Iran, Russia & China all have one thing in common folks....there own central banks. The rest if the world has Jew owned banks. Just saying, follow the money people. The Jews want in in these countries. Thats why war has always been the only option or coups by the CIA. The inly hope is if Trump actually wins and it doesnt go to war. But N. Korea is dumb enough to start it themselves.

Musum's picture

Hopefully this is just tough rhetoric and a negotiating tactic to assuage the crazies in the Pentagon and other defunct Cold War warriors as the Trump admin. seeks real detente and even a peace deal to finally put the Korean War to an end.