USA bans travel to North Korea from September 1

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That's likely a non-starter for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un now, who looks at former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein - who did not have nuclear weapons - and Libya's Moammar Gaddafi - who gave up his nuclear ambitions for sanctions relief and aid, only to be toppled and killed after the U.S. intervened in the country's civil unrest - and see the ability to attack the United States with a nuclear weapon as the key to preventing any US-led attempts at regime change.

Tillerson also reiterated that the United States seeks neither a "regime change" nor "collapse of the regime" in the DPRK.

"But we do believe China has a unique and special relationship", he added. In Malaysia, he will discuss bilateral relations with officials.

"We would like to sit and have a dialogue with them about the future that will give them the security they seek and the future economic prosperity for North Korea", Tillerson said.

USA officials have steadily condemned North Korea's missile tests, which are a violation of worldwide law. "We do not seek an excuse to send our military north of the 38th Parallel".

Thornton declined to comment on any possible action but stressed that despite Trump's tweets, North Korea and the trade issue were not linked in a "transactional", but "in a sort of philosophical way".

"We are not your enemy. but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond".

But he made it clear that there was no possibility of talks if North Korea did not abandon its nuclear programme.

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We certainly don't blame the Chinese for the situation in North Korea.

In the past, the United States has tried to engage North Korea in the hopes that the country would denuclearize, but with North Korea's sweeping advancements in missile technology and its inclusion of nuclear weapons into its constitution, that seems increasingly unlikely. "We do not seek regime change. We will no longer allow this to continue China could easily solve this problem!" he said.

"We see a growing determination on their part to take steps to try to address the situation seriously", said Thornton.

China accounts for 90 per cent of economic activity with North Korea.

On Tuesday, Mr Tillerson appeared to try to clarify the U.S. stance, saying: "We have been very clear with the Chinese".

It was the second time in two days that the leadership in the U.S. State Department had contradicted U.S. President Donald Trump's recent rant that China does "do NOTHING for us. just talk" on the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

Brownfield is also already well known in Latin America, having served as ambassador to Chile, Venezuela, and Colombia over the past 15 years, among other positions.