"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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Arnold's picture

Embargo on Chivas, heavy tariffs on Crown.

froze25's picture

If ww3 is going to start it will be with N  Korea

Took Red Pill's picture

WW3 has already started. In the early days of the first two, they didn't call them world wars.

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


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.”

A new approach? Like diplomacy? Perhaps a peace treaty to formally end a nearly 70 year war? Unpossible given the US State Department's lack of diplomats.

We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures.

Translation: We are exploring a new range of descriptions for threats and sanctions because diplomacy is beyond our comprehension.

beemasters's picture

You know a propaganda when they use "persuade" instead of the reality - ie. harsh sanctions.

Blankone's picture

China will do as Russia has done.  They will abandon their allie and will maintain a short term vision.  Russia abandoned Iraq, Libya, Serbia and others and has not committed to Syria, Yemen or EUke.   Instead of stopping the march they sit back and tell themselves it is not worth it for that other country.  Now it is arriving at their door. 

If China not fight for NK then there will be monentum to keep pushing China and others will join in or join up to bring the US into their country just like on Russia's western borders.

thesonandheir's picture

Tillerson must know something we don't - North Korea doesn't have vast deposits of oil.



Belrev's picture

Raw video: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson comes within 5 feet of North Korea


sleigher's picture

"Tillerson must know something we don't - North Korea doesn't have vast deposits of oil."

They also don't have a Rothschild central bank.

HowdyDoody's picture

They also have a land border with China.

ConnectingTheDots's picture

Yes, and that is exactly the reason the US puppets in Washington DC are going to war with N Korea.

Luc X. Ifer's picture

True, but N Korea has an unique incentive and potential, to be the trigger for the giant clean-up of more than 50% of world's human population and especially the kind without emotional strings culturally wise for the culturally adapted and integrated Americans and Europeans

giovanni_f's picture

Hey US, destroy the country a 2nd time, install a regime that caters to your globalist class (no matter if it is a dictator like in Iran or a Oligarch like in pseudo-democratic Ukraine) and then go full rah-rah when (like in Iran the Mullah's take over or) the whole thing unravels big style.

George Soros can add  some Ginseng farms to his portfolio, too

ThirteenthFloor's picture

This provocation seems like we are living through Stinnett's 'Day of Deceipt' all over again. This time North Korea, opposed to Japan.

US once again applying its 'unique' form of democracy (death and destruction). Iran, Guatamala, Congo, Chile, Vietnam, Panama, Iraq, Libya, Ukraine, Mali, Yemen..."the hits just keep on coming".

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Tillerson must be kidding. Seoul is perpetually just 60 seconds away from being utterly flattened by thousands of ballistic missiles and heavy artillery shells. 

cossack55's picture

Not to mention the poor SOBs in the Western Corridor

greenskeeper carl's picture

Ya people forget how close to the border the capital is. They've had thousands of artillery pieces aimed at that city for the last 60 years, and nothing has happened. Kim has always had the ability to level it in less than a minute. This is nothing new. But, I'm sure McCain and his girlfriend wil welcome this news.

abyssinian's picture

Yeah yeah yeah, talk more shit than the North Koreans, ain't gonna do shit unless the Chinese gives the ok.....until then, keep talking Tilerson

SubjectivObject's picture

My opinion is the Tillerson/Trump presentation is counterproductive.  The way to deal with the NK regime is to let them do all the aggressive talking, return firm but palliative word, and keep the military assets quietly at ready to deal with any real NK attack action.  After the point of stopping the attack action, and exposing the NK weakness, all diplomatic prerogatives are now out in the open toward descalation and likely regime change.  Every country in the region would materially work together against NK.

Tillerson's approach now seems to belie the deep state urge for a war, any war, they need a war, like yesterday.  

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

Uh o, coffers looking a little lite.  Must overthrow round boy regime and install usurious central bank.  Spend the goy's wealth on bombs and spill the goy's blood half way around the globe.

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Mar 17, 2017 6:21 AM

Patience has ended... we're sending Rodman back, we can't deal with him here.

escapeefromOZ's picture

And who gave the permission to the rogue stata number 1 ( the USA ) to say that " Patience ha ended " ? .

The rogue state number one ( the USA ) is that one that applied economic, financial ,political sanctions against North Korea .

That country has been surrounded, menaced , intimidate and that's why it has now nuclear weapons . The North Korea does not trust the Israeli attack dog called the USA . I only hope that North Korean Missiles reach Tel Aviv that is the source of all Evil !

negatratoron's picture

where is this table?

cossack55's picture

Since the Gov bought it, it is probably at Baker Furniture

BritBob's picture

Tillerson needs to keep an eye on the Spanish -



Spanish Guardia Civil vessel Rio Cedena twice tried to disrupt the visit by ballistic missile sub USS Florida as it was approaching the British Overseas Territory on the southern tip of Spain.

According to the 
Sun, the incident has caused outrage among senior officials in Gibraltar with one 'top source' saying: 'This is not only a very dangerous game for the Spanish to play but it is unbecoming of a NATO ally to treat the US Navy with such contempt.'

(Daily Mail 6 May 2016)


Looks like Spain will try and play the Gibraltar card  (A worthless sovereignty claim): Gibraltar - Some Relevant International Law: https://www.academia.edu/10575180/Gibraltar_-_Some_Relevant_Internationa...


Gibraltar is an important NATO base.

Sandmann's picture

Yes I am sure Radio BritBob is received in South Korea

SubjectivObject's picture

Bob, howzbout you do that for him, and send your reports directly to his office.

That would save you having to post here.  Win, win ...... win.

Cognizant Millennial's picture

Don't worry, I won my last 3 games of Overwatch on Watchpoint Gibraltar as Soldier 76, a true Patriot. 


It's safely in NATO hands. Rest well, BritBob.

Miss Informed's picture

Thank goodness you are out there on the fringes of empire keeping the world safe for democracy!

BarkingCat's picture

Oh look, the pedo is back.

He must have ran out of little boys to molest.

Able Ape's picture

"So, Grandaddy tell me again about ALL our military successes over the past 50-60 years again".... "OK, here's the fairy tale, AGAIN!"....

Dilluminati's picture

Greedy Chicoms deploy any argument as an excuse for trade manipulation.

They would have cheated at trade anyway and provided another excuse.

If our patience should be ended with anybody or anything it should be China.

NK is going to end up with a couple of huge nuclear warheads on top of it and be blasted into infamy which might be what the world needs as a demonstration of what failure looks like, it's probably good real estate to show what political and economic failure warrants.

This is China's fault

Shemp 4 Victory's picture


which might be what the world needs as a demonstration of what failure looks like

The US is filling that role quite adequately.

it's probably good real estate to show what political and economic failure warrants.

That would be the Balkanized States of America.

This is China's fault

This is Vichy DC's fault.

Dilluminati's picture

I blame the marxists in Venezuela, NK, and China

they are always stirring the pot after the consequences of failed economics become their reality

if there is hungry people in NK I don't want the US shipping anything there to feed them

f0cking filthy Chicoms


curbjob's picture


"I blame the marxists in Venezuela, NK, and China"

No you don't. 

You're just echoing what you hear on Fox and Friends you fucking oxygen bandit.

Keyser's picture

You should look a little closer to home me tinks... Glass houses and all that jazz... 

SubjectivObject's picture

Everybody learns the contemporary greed strategy, from US.

We're the best at greedies.

QuantumEasing's picture

And then the Unicorn riding Valkyrie cavalry will be sent in to mop up.

A year from now, I'll remind you of your predictions.

Nukes would have been used in 1950 if they had been real.

And again in 1968.

And yet again in 1972.

But nope.

man of Wool's picture

Good move by Tillerson. Keep the pressure on NK. I don't expect violence but threatening NK with it reminds NK of its mortality.

A more sensible strategy would be for NK and SK to sign a peace pact and start negotiating on the future of Korea. Get most of the US troops out and let Korea get on with it. It may be better that they remain two seperate countries but they should be encouraged along with China to sort it out.

Sandmann's picture

 for NK and SK to sign a peace pact


That is what North Korea wanted from the US......


North Korea has said it could halt its nuclear tests if the US agrees to sign a peace treaty and stops its joint military exercises with South Korea. The offer comes days after Pyongyang claimed it had "successfully" conducted a hydrogen bomb test.

actionjacksonbrownie's picture

If there is one thing the the u.s. will NOT stand for, it's Peace.



Kaeako's picture

Gotta take out the Norks before they have a chance to fight back directly against the US. A few million dead Koreans is a small price to pay for peace of mind in the homeland.

Secret Weapon's picture

With 50 two man sniper teams, outfitted with Barrett 50 cal rifles and AP ammo, they could easily take out the mega transformers that are the backbone of our power grid.  If that happens it is lights our for at least 2 years for most of the country.  Asymmetrical warfare at it's finest.  The NK's have the people in place over here.  Watch what you ask for. 

Big Hugh's picture

"for at least 2 years"


Horseshit. Daydreaming.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Our power grid runs offa Transformers.

Whooda thunkit?