Tillerson, Mattis Assure Diplomacy With N. Korea, But Military Is Ready

The nation’s top military and diplomatic officers said over the weekend the United States remains intent on pursuing a diplomatic approach to rein in North Korea, but is also readying military options should provocation occur.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday the international community backs U.S. plans to apply diplomatic and economic pressure to force the “complete, verifiable, and irreversible” denuclearization of North Korea.

Echoing previous assertions by President Donald Trump, Mattis and Tillerson said they had replaced the Obama administration’s “failed” strategic patience approach to the Kim Jong Un regime with a policy of “strategic accountability.”

The two made clear the new strategy is designed solely to force the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The United States is not pursuing regime change, reunification of Korea, or the stationing of U.S. troops in the North.

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