Tillerson says new sanctions to test Kim Jong Un

Tillerson says new sanctions to test Kim Jong Un
© Getty Images

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonThe Memo: Putin furor sparks new questions on Kelly’s future US steps up its game in Africa, a continent open for business Matt Drudge shares mock ‘Survivor’ cover suggesting more White House officials will leave this summer MORE on Friday said that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be "tested" by the new sanctions announced this week.

"Our diplomatic efforts continue unabated. We have put in place the strongest economic sanctions ever to have been assembled against Kim Jong Un, so he is being tested with these sanctions," Tillerson said on ABC's "Good Morning America."

"Voices from every corner of the world are calling on him to cease his program, come to the table and let's talk about the future of North Korea and the North Korean people," he added.

The Trump administration announced its latest round of sanctions on Thursday, which take aim at countries, businesses and individuals that choose to do business with North Korea by cutting them off from the U.S. financial system. 

The United Nations Security Council also voted unanimously earlier this month to impose new penalties on Pyongyang. 

The sanctions came as North Korea continues to escalate its nuclear weapon and ballistic missile development. 

Trump administration officials have also insisted that the U.S. has military options in place for dealing with North Korea should such measures become necessary. 

"We will continue our efforts in the diplomatic arena, but all of our military options — as the president has said — is on the table," Tillerson said Friday. "And once we can assess the nature of this threat the president will make a decision regarding the appropriate actions."