The briefing comes a day after a U.S. guided-missile submarine arrived in South Korea and envoys from the U.S., South Korea and Japan met in Tokyo as North Korea marked the anniversary of its military’s founding.
The full Senate was briefed Wednesday on the threat posed by North Korea, and the Trump administration is emphasizing that the president’s approach prioritizes diplomacy and economic pressure over military options.
Earlier this month, the U.S. had been considering military options against North Korea as it anticipated a missile launch.
Asked if the U.S. is prepared to strike North Korea, Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., said, “I think there’s a lot to happen before that’s even to be considered.”
“The president’s approach aims to pressure North Korea into dismantling its nuclear, ballistic missile, and proliferation programs by tightening economic sanctions and pursuing diplomatic measures with our allies and regional partners,” the four officials said in a joint statement.
China needs to boost economic pressure on North Korea: US
China needs to step up economic pressure on North Korea, after Pyongyang “upped the ante” in its nuclear testing in recent months, the US State Department has said.
Beijing “frankly has to put economic leverage on North Korea,” spokesman Mark Toner yesterday said.
Toner said China needs to take the lead in that pressure.
Today, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is expected to press hard for global action on the North Korea issue as he chairs a special meeting of the UN Security Council in New York.
“Our message to China is, the time for strategic patience — for waiting North Korea out, for trying to gently nudge it back into talks — is past.”Toner spoke a day after top US security officials pledged to step up sanctions to force North Korea to resume dialogue over its nuclear program, toning down more virulent rhetoric from recent days.
On Thursday, Tillerson told Fox News he favored diplomatic sanctions as a way to get North Korea to fall in line.
Tillerson called on the international community to fully implement U.N. sanctions and to suspend or downgrade diplomatic ties as well with North Korea.
“There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea.
Also speaking at the United Nations meeting was China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi who pledged that Beijing would fully implement all U.N. sanctions on North Korea.
“With each successive detonation and missile test, North Korea pushes northeast Asia and the world closer to instability and broader conflict,” Tillerson said.