Tillerson to N. Korea: We Don't Want Regime Change
'We are not your enemy'
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 2, 2017 5:11 AM CDT
Updated Aug 2, 2017 6:40 AM CDT
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FILE - In this July 21, 2017 file photo, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks at the State Department in Washington. Tillerson says neither he nor President Donald Trump is "very happy" about new sanctions on Russia that Congress has voted to put in place.   (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, File)
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(Newser) – Rex Tillerson says America wants North Korea to know one thing: "We are not your enemy. We are not your threat," he said Tuesday. "But you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond." The secretary of State said the US hopes Pyongyang will sit down for a dialogue at some point, the Washington Post reports. "We do not seek a regime change, we do not seek a collapse of the regime, we do not seek an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, we do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel," said Tillerson, who also addressed issues including worsening relations with Russia, the Iran deal, and the situation in Venezuela.

Tillerson, in his first appearance in the briefing room since being confirmed six months ago, described Vladimir Putin's steps against US diplomats as a reaction to similar moves from former President Obama. Putin "felt he had to do something," Tillerson said. "Does it make our life more difficult? Of course it makes our life more difficult." The BBC reports that Sen. Lindsey Graham says President Trump has told him there will be war if North Korea continues trying to hit the US with an ICBM. "If there's going to be a war... it will be over there," Graham told the Today show. "If thousands die, they're going to die over there. They're not going to die here. And he has told me that to my face."

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