Declaring an end to a policy of strategic patience, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned Friday the possibility of using military force is on the table if North Korea continues to elevate the threat of their weapons program.
Tillerson's comments came during a press conference in South Korea as he made his first official visit to Asia as President Donald Trump's Secretary of State.
"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.
"Certainly we do not want for things to get to a military conflict," he added. "But obviously 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 suggested previous diplomatic efforts to halt North Korea's nuclear weapons program had failed and said the Trump administration is exploring a new range of measures.
The Secretary of State noted there are many steps that can be taken before military action is needed and expressed optimism North Korea can be persuaded to take a different course of action.
President Donald Trump followed up Tillerson's comments with a post on Twitter accusing North Korea of "behaving very badly."
"North Korea is behaving very badly. They have been 'playing' the United States for years. China has done little to help!" Trump tweeted.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com