TORONTO – The United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday that the US will not accept North Korea’s nuclear weapons, and assured it wants to strengthen maritime interdiction operations.
Tillerson said at a press conference after the 20-nation summit on North Korea’s nuclear program held on Tuesday in Vancouver, Canada, that his country seeks to “strengthen global maritime interdiction operations to foil illicit ship-to-ship transfers.”
“In doing so, let me be clear. We do not seek to interfere with legitimate maritime activities,” he added.
The US Secretary of State also said that imposing more sanctions on North Korea is the only way to pressure Pyongyang to hold negotiations over its nuclear program.
“We must increase the costs of the regime’s behavior to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations,” he said.
For her part, Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland said at the conclusion of the summit that “we seek neither a regime change nor a collapse.”
Freeland added that the countries meeting at the summit, including the United States and South Korea, agreed to work together to ensure sanctions on Pyongyang are strictly enforced.
When asked by the media about whether Americans need to be concerned about a war with North Korea, Tillerson said “we all need to be very sober and clear eyed about the current situation.”