Tillerson in South Korea in search of 'new approach' on N.Korea

By REUTERS
March 17, 2017 05:11
1 minute read.
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SEOUL - US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrived in South Korea on Friday for the second leg of an Asian tour focused on finding a "new approach" for North Korea after what he described as two decades of failed efforts to denuclearize the reclusive state.

Tillerson, a former oil executive with no prior diplomatic experience, began his first Asian visit as secretary of state in Japan on Wednesday and travels to China on Saturday.

In South Korea, he will visit the heavily fortified border with North Korea, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), before meeting Foreign Minister Yun Byung-se and Prime Minister Hwang Kyo-ahn, who is also acting president.

In Tokyo on Thursday, Tillerson said 20 years of diplomatic and other efforts, including a period when the United States provided North Korea with $1.35 billion in assistance "to take a different pathway," had come to nothing.

"In the face of this ever-escalating threat, it is clear that a different approach is required. Part of the purpose of my visit to the region is to exchange views on a new approach," he told a news conference, his first as secretary of state.

North Korea has conducted two nuclear tests and a series of missile launches since the beginning of last year.

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