Tags: North Korea | Trump Administration | tillerson | nkorea | kim jong un | sanctions | test

Tillerson: Kim Jong Un 'Being Tested' With Strongest Sanctions on NKorea

(AP)

By    |   Friday, 22 September 2017 08:45 AM

The United States has put together the strongest economic sanctions to ever be enacted against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and diplomatic efforts are continuing "unabated," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday.

"He is being tested with the sanctions," Tillerson told ABC's "Good Morning America" program. "Voices from every corner of the world are calling on him to cease his program and come to the table, and [to] talk about the future of North Korea and the North Korean people."

President Donald Trump early Friday tweeted that Kim will be "tested like never before."

The tweet came after Kim lashed out at Trump late Thursday, calling him "deranged" and a "dotard," saying he will "pay dearly" for threatening to destroy Pyongyang in his speech to the United Nations on Tuesday.

"Dotard" is a translation of a Korean word, "neukdari," a derogatory reference to an old person.

On Thursday, Trump also signed an executive order to impose even tougher sanctions, while allowing the United States to freeze the assets of financial institutions of anyone conducting "significant" trade in goods, services, or technology with Pyongyang.

During Tuesday's speech, Trump said there will be no choice but to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacks, and Tillerson said on Friday that the president "takes the responsibility of the security of the American people very seriously."

"It is his first and foremost responsibility, but we're not in this alone," said Tillerson. "We have developed strong allies and alliances internationally and we are engaging with North Korea's most important supporters, economic supporters, their friend, China and Russia to have them also engage with Kim Jong Un."

Kim may also be planning the detonation of a powerful hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, North Korean diplomat Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Thursday on the sidelines of a United Nations gathering.

The United States will continue its efforts in the diplomatic arena, Tillerson said Friday, but "all our military options are on the table."

"Once we can assess the nature of this threat, the president will make a decision regarding the appropriate actions," he continued.

But it will be the president's ultimate decision what to do if North Korea does drop a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean, and he will be advised by the National Security Council, Tillerson told ABC.

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The United States has put together the strongest economic sanctions to ever be enacted against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and diplomatic efforts are continuing "unabated," Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday.
tillerson, nkorea, kim jong un, sanctions, test
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2017-45-22
Friday, 22 September 2017 08:45 AM
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