Tillerson, a former oil executive with no prior diplomatic experience, said he expected a new government would “continue to be supportive” of the deployment, adding it was also meant to protect USA troops in South Korea.
He outlined a tougher strategy to confront North Korea’s nuclear threat and said he was not interested in talks with Pyongyang unless it started the process of giving up its nuclear weapons.
Instead, he said, the United States will explore a range of military options, alongside diplomatic, security and economic measures.
He said any North Korean actions that threatened the South would be met with “an appropriate response”. Seoul’s security officials also fear US direct negotiations with the North that would undercut American security commitments, or leave South Korea on the outside looking in.
The arrests come on the heels of a mass expulsion of South Korean missionaries from the Jilin province – which borders North Korea – in just the past few months, according to media reports noted by Christianity Today. “If imposing diplomatic pressure is a building, military deterrence would be one of the pillars for this building”.
The conservative government of impeached president Park Geun-hye agreed to deploy the THAAD to guard against an attack by North Korea, but the decision sparked outrage in China, which responded with restrictions on some companies doing business with and in South Korea. President Trump has already drawn a red line, flatly declaring, “It won’t happen”.
At the same time, Tillerson noted that “North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or their neighbours in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea”.
The Trump administration’s “America first” trade policy is raising concerns in Japan just as U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson visited the country for the first time.
“Diplomatic and other efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to a point of denuclearization have failed”, he told reporters on Thursday in Tokyo, reflecting a widely held but rarely publicly spoken view of many experts both in and outside of the US government.
“Any talks with North Korea, they agreed, should be only for the objective of the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of the country”, he said after their talks.
The two former liberal presidents both held summits with the North’s then-leader, Kim Jong Il – the only such meetings ever -promising reconciliation and initiating joint projects including the Kaesong Industrial Complex and tours to Mount Kumgang in the North.
In the face of Chinese aggression, Kim said the United States could consider deploying mobile tactical nuclear weapons to South Korea – which has been nuclear free since 1991.
This could leave China contained by nuclear neighbors: to the north, Russia, to the south, India, to the east, South Korea and Japan.
“It’s important that the leadership of North Korea realize that their current pathway of nuclear weapons and escalating threats will not lead to their objective of security and economic development”.
Rex Tillerson, who has no previous political experience, will be visiting countries in the shadow of North Korea’s nuclear programme.
Tillerson, who had described past U.S. North Korea policy as a “failure”, told reporters in Seoul on Friday the Trump administration would not pursue President Barack Obama’s principle of “strategic patience” in the face of nuclear threats, South Korean news service Newsis reported.
The US wants to make sure that Pyongyang – and to a lesser extent Beijing – has no doubts that Washington is a major player in Asia.
China, which is also very concerned about North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, recently proposed a sensible, reciprocal approach North Korea had previously advocated, namely a halt to joint U.S.
Kishida said Japan is now facing a “new, higher stage of threat” from North Korea after it test-fired four missiles into the Sea of Japan on March 6.
“We do not oppose South Korean taking necessary measures to protect its security, but these measures can not be based upon harming the security interests of South Korea’s friendly neighbor, China”, she said.