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US top envoy Tillerson: New methods needed to counter North Korea

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TOKYO: US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said yesterday that two decades of effort to stop North Korea's nuclear ambitions have not worked and that a new approach is needed.

"I think it's important to recognise that the political and diplomatic efforts of the past 20 years to bring North Korea to the point of denuclearisation have failed," he told a press conference with Japan's foreign minister, Mr Fumio Kishida.

"In the face of the ever escalating threat, it is clear that a new approach is required."

He also said the US will continue to work closely with Japan and South Korea in countering the North Korean threat, but also extended an olive branch to the country's people.

"North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or its neighbours," he said, suggesting that criticism was aimed at the regime in Pyongyang.

He also called on China, which he will visit tomorrow, to do more to pressure its ally North Korea. "We do believe they have a very important role to play," Mr Tillerson said.

"We will be having discussions with China as to other actions they should be undertaking." - AFP

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