U.S. says strategy on North Korea centers on sanctions, open to talks

U.S. says strategy on North Korea centers on sanctions, open to talksBy Phil Stewart and David Brunnstrom WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration said on Wednesday it aimed to push North Korea into dismantling its nuclear and missile programs through tougher international sanctions and diplomatic pressure, and remained open to negotiations to bring that about. The U.S. stance, which appeared to signal a willingness to exhaust non-military avenues despite repeated warnings that “all options are on the table,” came in a statement following an unusual White House-hosted briefing for the entire U.S. Senate followed by a briefing to the House of Representatives. Graphic – Carl Vinson strike group: tmsnrt.rs/2pqOMWA Graphic – North Korea’s nuclear program: tmsnrt.rs/2n0gd92 The statement from Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats described North Korea as “an urgent national security threat and top foreign policy priority.” North Korea’s growing nuclear and missile threat is perhaps the most serious security challenge confronting President Donald Trump, who has vowed to prevent North Korea from being able to hit the United States with a nuclear missile – a capability experts say Pyongyang could have some time after 2020.

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