Top U.S. officials say ‘no’ to regime change on North Korea

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NEW YORK, Aug 14 (APP): Top U.S. officials presented their united front
on North Korea: denuclearization through a new policy of “strategic accountability,” and not regime change, is what they seek from Pyongyang in a time of heightened tensions.
In a jointly written opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal, U.S.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis stated the United States does not seek to “inflict harm” on the “long-suffering North Korean people.”
“We are replacing the failed policy of ‘strategic patience’…with a new
policy of strategic accountability,” the two officials wrote.
The U.S. goal, they added, is a denuclearized Korean Peninsula and not
“regime change or accelerated reunification of Korea.” Similarly, the U.S. is not in search of an excuse to station more of its troops along the North Korean border, nor does it have any “desire to inflict harm on the long-suffering North Korean people, who are distinct from the hostile regime in Pyongyang.”
Tillerson and Mattis called for a “peaceful pressure campaign” that
would be conducted with the aim of denuclearization, and without toppling the regime. But the two U.S. secretaries also described the regime in Pyongyang as “hostile.”
Tillerson and Mattis furthermore pointed out China could play an
important role in persuading Pyongyang to reconsider its options.
“The region and world need and expect China to do more,” they wrote in
the article that also included a message for North Korea.
“Take a new path toward peace, prosperity and international acceptance,
or continue further down the dead alley of belligerence, poverty and isolation,” they said. “The [United States] will aspire and work for the former, and will remain vigilant against the latter.”
On its part, China has announced a full import ban on North Korean
mineral resources and seafood would be effective Tuesday.
They’re part of the tougher sanctions approved by the United Nations
Security Council earlier this month following two intercontinental ballistic missile tests by North Korea in July.
Last week, several US intelligence analysts said they believe North
Korea “probably” possesses a miniaturized nuclear warhead.
The report, originally in the Washington Post, was the catalyst for
Trump’s “fire and fury” rhetoric, which threatened retaliation on Pyongyang should they not cease making threats against the US.