" By Elaine Lies and Kiyoshi Takenaka |
TOKYO The escalating threat from North Korea's nuclear program shows a clear need for a "new approach," U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Thursday, although he did not say what the Trump administration planned.
It was the first time that Tillerson, who was speaking at a joint news conference in Tokyo after talks with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida, had taken questions from the media since taking office in early February.
Two decades of diplomatic and other efforts, including U.S. aid for North Korea, had failed to achieve the goal of denuclearizing Pyongyang, said Tillerson, a former oil executive with no prior diplomatic experience, at the start of his first trip to Asia as secretary of state.
"So we have 20 years of failed approach," Tillerson said.
"That includes a period where the United States has provided $1.35 billion in assistance to North Korea as an encouragement to take a different pathway."
"In the face of this ever-escalating threat, it is clear that a different approach is required.
Part of the purpose of my visit to the region is to exchange views on a new approach," he said.
A month or so ago I read about Mr. Tillerson mostly because so many here perceived him as destructive to our best interests. I concluded he is a very smart man that knows how to deal with people and those in various industries and countries.
I do believe a "new approach" for the nuclear issue with N.K. is needed, and I believe one will be found and implemented--- let's hope K. Jung-On will keep his word.