On Friday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that if North Korea continued to develop its nuclear weapons program that military action against the dictatorial nation would be “on the table.”
“If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action then that option is on the table,” Tillerson said during a press conference in South Korea, during his first trip to Asia as Secretary.
He added that we certainly “do not want for things to get to a military conflict,” but “if North Korea takes actions that threaten the South Korean forces or our own forces then that would be met with an appropriate response.”
Tillerson criticized the former Obama administration’s policy of “strategic patience” and essentially waiting out North Korea in hopes they would stand down and not continue to build their weapons arsenal.
“Let me be very clear — the policy of strategic patience has ended,” he added. “We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table.”
Tillerson spoke alongside the South Korean foreign minister, Yun Byung-se, who stood behind Tillerson’s stance that military action could be an option.
“We have various policy methods available,” he said. “If imposing diplomatic pressure is a building, military deterrence would be one of the pillars of this building. 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.”
On Friday morning, President Donald Trump said that North Korea is “behaving very badly.”
“North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been “playing” the United States for years. China has done little to help!” he tweeted.