United States travel ban on N. Korea to take effect September 1

Posted August 04, 2017

He said Tuesday the United States does "not seek a regime change".

At least 16 US citizens have been detained in North Korea in the past 10 years, the State Department says. The North Korean government sentenced Warmbier, a student at the University of Virginia, to 15 years of hard labor for allegedly trying to "steal a propaganda poster".

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that Washington is not seeking a regime change in North Korea, but rather willing to initiate a dialogue only if Pyongyang relinquishes its pursuit of nuclear weapons.

Tillerson will travel to Asia later this week to increase "peaceful pressure on the regime in North Korea to have them develop a willingness to sit and talk to us and others", but with an understanding that there's no possibility of talks if North Korea doesn't abandon its nuclear program.

In a travel alert released Wednesday, the State Department urged all Americans now in North Korea to leave the country before the policy takes effect next month. While speaking at the Department of State press conference stressed that the threat posed by Pyongyang's latest intercontinental ballistic missile was not acceptable.

Tillerson will participate in meetings of diplomats of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations in Manila, and discuss "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, maritime security, and counterterrorism", the State Department said.

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In apparent attempt to reach out to supreme leader Kim Jong-un yesterday, he said: "We're not your enemy".

But he sought to reassure the isolated authoritarian regime that it does not need a nuclear arsenal to defend itself from a USA attack. However, the recent Chinese-Russian "double freezing" initiative - suggesting that North Korea stops its ballistic missile and nuclear activities while the U.S. and its allies halt war games in the region - has been rejected by Washington.

Tillerson talked about numerous challenges across the world, including the fight against ISIS, the Syrian crisis, the Middle East, Iran and moves to end the eastern Ukraine conflict, which has witnessed several clashes between government forces and rebels backed by Russian Federation.

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. But we do believe China has a special and unique relationship because of this significant economic activity to influence the North Korean regime in ways that no one else can.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Trump was ready to launch a devastating military attack if diplomacy failed to stop the nuclear missile threat.

Pyongyang claimed that its latest missile test could hit the USA west coast and beyond.