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15:23, 17 March 2017

Military action against North Korea 'an option': Tillerson in South Korea

AKIPRESS.COM - Military action against North Korea is "an option on the table", US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said during a visit to South Korea, BBC reported.

Tillerson arrived in South Korea on Friday for the second leg of an Asian tour focused on finding a "new approach" for North Korea after what he described as two decades of failed efforts to denuclearize the reclusive state.

He said the policy of "strategic patience" had ended and the US was exploring a new range of diplomatic, security and economic measures.

"In the face of this ever-escalating threat, it is clear that a different approach is required. Part of the purpose of my visit to the region is to exchange views on a new approach," he told a news conference, his first as secretary of state, Reuters reported.

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.

Washington has been pressing Beijing to do more to rein in North Korea's nuclear and missile programs. Tillerson is expected to tell the Chinese leadership that the United States intends to increase missile defenses in the region, despite China's opposition, a U.S. official told Reuters in Washington.

South Korea, one of the staunchest U.S. allies in Asia, has agreed to deploy a U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile system in South Korea.

China says the system's radar is a threat to its security.


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