Tillerson: US Military Force Against North Korea 'On the Table'

Posted: Mar 17, 2017 8:46 AM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the “policy of strategic patience” is over regarding North Korea’s pursuit of missile and nuclear weapons. As a result, U.S. military force is one option that’s on the table for dealing with the rogue nation.

“We’re exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures,” Tillerson said in Seoul while speaking alongside South Korean Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se. "All options are on the table.”

“If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table. Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended.”

While he stressed that the U.S. does not want military conflict, North Korean missile threats “would be met with an appropriate response.”  

Byung-se said military deterrence would be one means of dealing with North Korea.

“We plan to have all relevant nations work together more closely than in the past and make sure that North Korea, feeling pain for its wrongdoings, changes its strategy,” he said.

The region is on edge as North Korea test-fired four missiles last week into the Sea of Japan.

This was the former Exxon Mobile CEO’s first major trip to Asia as the Trump administration’s Secretary of State.