U.S. policy of ‘strategic patience’ with North Korea over, says Tillerson, raising the specter of nuclear war

Reuters reports: A U.S. policy of strategic patience with North Korea has ended, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in South Korea on Friday, adding that military action would be “on the table” if North Korea elevated the threat level.

Tillerson began his first Asian visit as secretary of state in Japan on Wednesday and will travel to China on Saturday with a main focus on finding a “new approach” on North Korea after what he described as two decades of failed efforts to denuclearize the insular nation.

“Let me be very clear: the policy of strategic patience has ended. We are exploring a new range of security and diplomatic measures. All options are on the table,” Tillerson told a news conference in Seoul.

He said any North Korean actions that threatened the South would be met with “an appropriate response”.

“If they elevate the threat of their weapons program to a level that we believe requires action, that option is on the table,” Tillerson said when asked about military action. [Continue reading…]

Arms control expert, Jeffrey Lewis, underlines the implications of threatening military action by citing a March 9 statement published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), the state news agency of North Korea:

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