The US does not wish to topple the North Korean government and would like dialogue with Pyongyang – but only if North Korea understands it can never be a nuclear power.
That’s the claim of Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
He said: “We’re trying to convey to the North Koreans: we are not your enemy. We are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond. And we hope that at some point they will begin to understand that.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was asked what Donald Trump’s stance was on North Korea after a Republican senator, Lindsay Graham, said the US president was willing to go to war.
Sanders said: “The president obviously has been very outspoken about how he feels about North Korea. We are weighing up and keeping all options on the table and as we have said it many times before we are not going to broadcast what we are going to do and until that happens.”
The developments come days after South Korea and the United States held a joint military exercise 15 miles from the North Korean border.