US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that two decades of efforts to stop North Korea’s nuclear ambitions have not worked and that a new approach is needed.
“I think it’s important to recognize that the political and diplomatic efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to the point of denuclearization have failed,” he told a press conference with Japan’s foreign minister.
“In the face of the ever escalating threat it is clear that a new approach is required.”
He also said that the US will continue to work closely with Japan and South Korea in countering the North Korean threat, but also extended an olive branch to the country’s people.
“North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or its neighbors,” he said, suggesting that criticism was aimed at the regime in Pyongyang.
He also called on China, where he will visit on Saturday, to do more to pressure its ally North Korea.
“We do believe they have a very important role to play,” Tillerson said.
“We will be having discussions with China as to other actions that they should be undertaking.”