Trump administration says military action against North Korea 'an option'
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has not ruled out the possibility of using military action in a long-running dispute with North Korea.
Tillerson is currently visiting several Asian countries for a series of diplomatic summits to discuss issues such as the increasing nuclear threat from the Kim Jong-un regime.
When asked about the likelihood of Donald Trump’s administration engaging in military action against North Korea during a press conference in neighbouring South Korea, the former ExxonMobil boss said it was “an option on the table”.
"Certainly we do not want to, for things to get to military conflict,” Tillerson said. "If they elevate the threat of their weapons programme to a level that we believe requires action, then, that option's on the table."
Earlier on Thursday the foreign minister spoke of the need for a new approach towards the thorny issue of how to deal with North Korea, which has so far defied UN sanctions to decelerate its nuclear programme.
"I don't believe we have ever fully achieved the maximum level of action that can be taken under the UN Security Council resolution with full participation of all countries," he said.
The US has accused China of not contributing enough to stabilise the actions of its ally, while Beijing has pointed towards the conduction of joint military exercises in South Korea as a threat to Kim’s regime.