SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The United States signaled a tougher strategy toward North Korea on Friday that leaves open the possibility of pre-emptive military action and rejects talks with the communist nation until it gives up its weapons of mass destruction.
“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended,” said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. “We are exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures. All options are on the table.”
Tillerson was speaking after visiting the heavily militarized border between the rival Koreas. His comments are likely to displease Beijing, where he travels this weekend. China has been advocating diplomacy to avoid a conflict on the divided peninsula.
Also Friday, President Donald Trump tweeted: “North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been ‘playing’ the United States for years. China has done little to help!”
Past U.S. administrations have considered military options against North Korea and have publicly said that an attack on the U.S. or its allies would prompt a devastating response.