US Not Seeking to Topple North Korea Regime, Says Tillerson

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The US Secretary of State said relations between the two nuclear and economic superpowers has reached "a pivot point" as tensions over global affairs escalate. "We do not see a regime change".

A North Korean flag flies on a mast at the Permanent Mission of North Korea in Geneva October 2, 2014.

The Trump administration's ban on United States citizens traveling to North Korea will take effect early next month, and include exemptions for journalists and humanitarian workers.

The State Department announced on July 21 that Tillerson had made a decision to go ahead with the ban amid the fallout over Warmbier's death as well as heightened USA concern about Pyongyang's recent advancements in its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs.

At least 16 US citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past 10 years, the State Department says.

U.S. President Donald Trump has demanded that China, North Korea's neighbor and biggest trade partner, rein in its nuclear ambitions-angrily tweeting over the weekend that Beijing is not doing enough.

But he sought to reassure the isolated authoritarian regime that it does not need a nuclear arsenal to defend itself from a US attack. We are not your enemy.

The preview says that in addition to journalists and humanitarian workers, Americans whose travel to North Korea "is otherwise in the national interest" will be considered for exemptions.


A ban on travel by US passport holders to North Korea will take effect on September 1 and Americans in the country should leave before that date, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

However, Mr Tillerson took a more diplomatic approach, saying that "only the North Koreans are to blame for this situation".

"China has ways that they can influence and put pressure on the North Korean regime because of this significant economic relationship that no one else has", the Secretary of State argued.

Tillerson's views on North Korea and its close ally, China, is in sharp contrast to the U.S. envoy to the UN, Nikki Haley, who on Sunday asked Beijing to decide on tougher UN sanctions on North Korea over its two long-range missile tests last month.

Last week, Kim boasted that North Korea could attack any target in the United States after carrying out its latest intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) test.

Thornton confirmed that Washington is seeking to further isolate Pyongyang, but admitted that there had not been time to convince its regional allies to update the guest list before the Manila talks.

But Republican senator Lindsey Graham revealed Trump's plan for war with North Korea if it doesn't stop testing ballistic missiles.

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