Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday that “all of the options are on the table,” including the use of military force, to deal with the threat of North Korea and its ever-escalating weapons program.
Tillerson, making his first trip to South Korea since taking over as America’s top diplomat, visited the demilitarized zone along the border with North Korea on Friday, according to the Associated Press. He said preemptive military action against North Korea, which recently conducted a ballistic missile test, could be necessary if the repressive regime’s weapons program rises to a level “that we believe requires action.”
The secretary of state promised a “different approach” for U.S. policy towards North Korea but did not offer specifics of what that new direction might look like, perhaps following the lead of President Donald Trump, who has in the past expressed a preference for not tipping the nation’s hand in foreign or military policy situations.
Tillerson did offer a somewhat veiled criticism of past U.S. policy in the region, remarking that two decades of “diplomatic and other efforts” had been unsuccessful in halting North Korea’s nuclear program, which the secretary referred to as an “ever-escalating threat.”