Tillerson on North Korea missile launch: Diplomatic options viable 'for now'

Tillerson on North Korea missile launch: Diplomatic options viable 'for now'
© Camille Fine

Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHillicon Valley — Blinken unveils new cyber bureau at State Blinken formally announces new State Department cyber bureau Hillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook MORE said Tuesday that diplomatic options with North Korea remain viable "for now" following a North Korean missile launch earlier in the day.

“Diplomatic options remain viable and open, for now. The United States remains committed to finding a peaceful path to denuclearization and to ending belligerent actions by North Korea,” Tillerson said in a statement.

U.S. military officials confirmed that North Korea had launched a ballistic missile on Tuesday, its first such launch since September.

ADVERTISEMENT

Defense Secretary James MattisJames Norman Mattis The US can't go back to business as usual with Pakistan The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Senate nears surprise deal on short-term debt ceiling hike Overnight Defense & National Security — Pentagon chiefs to Congress: Don't default MORE said the latest missile launch flew higher than any of North Korea’s previous attempts.

The missile was fired at dawn, local time, on Wednesday from an area north of Pyongyang and flew east before falling into the Sea of Japan.

Tillerson weighed in on Pyongyang's latest launch after President Trump said simply that the U.S. “will handle” the situation in North Korea, adding that his administration's approach has not changed.

The secretary of State called on the international community to take economic and diplomatic steps to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear program. 

Tillerson said the U.S. and Canada will convene a meeting of the United Nations Command that will include South Korea and Japan to discuss how the global community can counter North Korea’s “threat to international peace."