Thursday, 23 May, 2019

Mattis says USA wants diplomatic solution for N. Korea

US Secretary of Defense James Mattis US Secretary of Defense James Mattis
Christy Curtis | 15 August, 2017, 00:34

Mattis said that the USA effort to counter the nuclear missile ambitions of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is being "diplomatically led".

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wrote in the Wall Street Journal on Sunday the global community backs US plans to apply diplomatic and economic pressure to force the "complete, verifiable, and irreversible" denuclearization of North Korea. The United States is not pursuing regime change, reunification of Korea, or the stationing of USA troops in the North.

Speaking at an event in California on Thursday, Mattis said his mission and responsibility was to have military options ready "should they be needed" but stressed the United States effort is now focused on diplomacy.

The UN Security Council on August 5 voted unanimously to impose new sanctions on North Korea.

They explained that the Trump administration is applying diplomatic and economic pressure on North Korea to achieve the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a dismantling of the regime's ballistic-missile programs.

Earlier this week, Gen. Kim Rak-Gyom, who heads North Korea's rocket command, said in a statement carried by state media that Pyongyang was "about to take" military action near the US territory of Guam.

Mattis and Tillerson urged China to take a leading role in bringing Pyongyang to the negotiating table.

Top U.S. officials confirmed their united front on North Korea: denuclearization through a new policy of "strategic accountability", and not regime change, is what they seek from Pyongyang in a time of heightened tensions. China is North Korea's neighbor, sole treaty ally and main commercial partner.

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