State Department to begin restricting travel to North Korea starting September 1

Kristopher Drake
August 5, 2017

He recently said China's efforts to rein in North Korea had "not worked" out even as he appreciated Beijing for its attempts to pursue its closest ally to abandon its nuclear ambitions. He died in June after being medically evacuated in a coma from North Korea. "And we hope that at some point they will begin to understand that and we would like to sit and have a dialogue with them".

He reiterated the USA does not "seek a reunification of the peninsula".

U.S. President Donald Trump and his security team had focused on working with China, the North's key trading partner, to fully implement sanctions.

"So from the administration's perspective, the most important thing we can do is separate those two", Pompeo said, hinting at the idea of regime change in North Korea, albeit in a very opaque manner.

"There is a military option: To destroy North Korea's program and North Korea itself", Graham said. She said Washington wanted to see countries "drastically" reduce their dealings with Pyongyang.

He said the U.S. felt the first appropriate thing to do was to seek peaceful pressure on the regime in North Korea to have them develop a willingness to sit and talk with America and others but with an understanding that a condition of those talks is there is no future where North Korea holds nuclear weapons or the ability to deliver those nuclear weapons to anyone in the region much less to the homeland. "We have differences, but I think if we're not having those differences I'm not sure that I am serving him".

A statement says the US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has authorised the restriction "due to the serious and mounting risk of arrest and long-term detention of US citizens under North Korea's system of law enforcement". Tillerson also has fumed over the slow pace of White House approvals for senior State Department positions.

Analysts worry that the contradictory messaging and the United States' failure to grasp that North Korea's ability to nuke the United States is no longer just theoretical is unsafe.

The Trump administration will allow American journalists, Red Cross employees and other humanitarian workers to apply for exemptions to a ban on travel to North Korea that is set to take effect in early September.

Jeffrey Lewis, an expert on nonproliferation issues and the director of the East Asia Nonproliferation Program at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterrey, said the recent test should be a reality-check for policy makers in the United States about the seriousness of the issue. "They are not laughing and the joke is on us".

Other reports by Ligue1talk

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