Tillerson: Peaceful pressure on North Korea will continue

Secretary of State condemns firing of three ballistic missiles by North Korea, but says U.S. will continue to seek a peaceful resolution.

Elad Benari,

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Sunday the firing of three ballistic missiles by North Korea this week was a provocative act but stressed the United States will continue to seek a peaceful resolution.

“We do view it as a provocative act against the United States and our allies,” Tillerson told Fox News.

“We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign as I have described it, working with allies, working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table,” he added.

North Korea fired three short-range ballistic missiles on Saturday morning. The U.S. Pacific Command said two of the missiles flew 250 kilometers (155 miles) while the other appeared to have blown up immediately.

Tillerson called the firing “a violation of UN Security Council resolutions.” He added that the regime of King Jong Un was “clearly” sending the message “that they are not prepared to completely back away from their position.”

Pyongyang's latest missile test came just days after Tillerson welcomed North Korea’s recent “restraint”, adding talks with Pyongyang may be possible "in the near future".

Tensions have increased between the United States and North Korea in recent weeks.

North Korea threatened a missile attack on Guam, a tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific, in response to President Donald Trump’s warning that Pyongyang faced "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States with its missile and nuclear programs.

Later, North Korea toned down the rhetoric and Kim said the attack on Guam would be put off while he watches U.S. actions.