U.S. to Exempt Journalists, Aid Workers from North Korea Travel Ban

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"We have reaffirmed our position towards North Korea, that what we are doing, we do not seek a regime change; we do not seek the collapse of the regime; we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula; we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th parallel", Tillerson told reporters at the State Department yesterday.

Tillerson has no plans to meet separately with the North Koreans, she said, while at the forum itself she predicted "pretty serious diplomatic isolation directed at the North Korean foreign minister".

Tillerson is travelling to Asia this week, where he will continue his drive to increase "peaceful pressure on the regime in North Korea to have them develop a willingness to sit and talk to us and others".

Tillerson made the remarks at the US State Department on Tuesday after North Korea tested its second intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on July 28, the Washington Post reported.

Tillerson will participate in meetings of diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, and discuss "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maritime security, and counterterrorism", the State Department said. South Korea in particular is taking steps, with support from the US, to defend itself against the threat.

"We are trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond", he said.

Sanders said: "The president obviously has been very outspoken about how he feels about North Korea".

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Tillerson added that the United States hopes that "at some point", North Korea will understand and sit down for a dialogue.

Tillerson talked about numerous challenges across the world, including the fight against ISIS, the Syrian crisis, the Middle East, Iran and moves to end the eastern Ukraine conflict, which has witnessed several clashes between government forces and rebels backed by Russian Federation.

Tillerson's views on North Korea and its close ally, China, is in sharp contrast to the United States envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, who on Sunday asked Beijing to decide on tougher UN sanctions on North Korea over its two long-range missile tests last month.

However, some North Korea watchers worry that inconsistent and opaque messaging from the United States has hamstrung their position when it comes to North Korea, a country which test-fired two long-range missiles in July that could theoretically reach the U.S. mainland.

USA officials have steadily condemned North Korea's missile tests, which are a violation of worldwide law.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump was ready to launch a devastating military attack if diplomacy failed to stop the nuclear missile threat.

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