Military strikes against Syria over its suspected use of chemical weapons are a warning to other nations, including North Korea, that “a response is likely” if they pose a danger, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday.
“The message that any nation can take is, ‘If you violate international norms, if you violate international agreements, if you fail to live up to commitments, if you become a threat to others, at some point a response is likely to be undertaken,’” Tillerson told ABC’s This Week TV show, Reuters reports.
“In terms of North Korea,” he added, “we’ve been very clear that our objective is a denuclearized Korea peninsula.”
Following last week’s meeting between US President Donald Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, Tillerson said Beijing agrees that action is necessary to address North Korea’s nuclear arsenal.
In a separate interview, Tillerson told CBS’ Face the Nation: “President Xi clearly understands, and I think agrees, that the situation has intensified and has reached a certain level of threat that action has to be taken.”
Trump will soon review options for removing the “threat” posed by North Korean missiles, White House national security adviser H.R. McMaster said on Sunday.
North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong-un, have repeatedly indicated an intercontinental ballistic missile test or something similar could be coming, possibly as soon as April 15, the 105th birthday of North Korea’s founding president.
“This is a rogue regime that is now a nuclear-capable regime, and President Xi and President Trump agreed that that is unacceptable, that what must happen is the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” McMaster said.
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