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Kerry: ‘More forceful ways’ may be needed with North Korea

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Secretary of State John Kerry warned about the rise of a “factless political environment” in which policy is made on Twitter and said President-elect Donald Trump’s “America First” policy could lead to a U.S. retreat from the world. He also lamented a lack of contact with the incoming Trump administration.

WASHINGTON >> Secretary of State John Kerry said today the U.S. may need “more forceful ways” of dealing with North Korea if it develops an intercontinental ballistic missile that threatens America.

Speaking at the U.S. Naval Academy, Kerry said nuclear weapons in the hands of North Korea’s “reckless dictator” Kim Jong Un pose one of the most serious national security challenges to the United States.

Kerry urged Donald Trump’s incoming administration to work closely with China, Pyongyang’s main trading partner, to exert more economic pressure on North Korea.

He said the aim should be resuming talks on denuclearization that could open the way to economic assistance for North Korea, sanctions relief and a formal peace on the divided Korean Peninsula.

But Kerry said if the North persists in developing the long-range missile it “drags the United States into an immediate threat situation to which we may then have to find other ways, more forceful ways of having an impact on the choices that he is making.” Kerry didn’t elaborate.

Kim announced in his annual New Year’s address that the country had reached the “final stages” of intercontinental ballistic missile development. Trump responded with a tweet, saying “It won’t happen!” but did not indicate how his administration would prevent it.

Over the past eight years, the Obama administration has cranked up sanctions on Pyongyang, invested more in missile defense and staged occasional shows of military force. But its policies have failed to stall North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile programs.

The North conducted two underground nuclear explosions and more than two dozen missile test launches last year.

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  • Kerry is so right. He is an honest and good man and an effective Secretary of State. I tremble when I think of the foolish Trump on the world stage. He is such a joke internationally. North Korea will laugh themselves silly thinking this pompous buffoon could would do the right thing.

    • Kim Jung UN killed his family members for minor infarction, do you think in you own little mind give a &hit about Americans. Demoncrats like to talk and talk and talk first but what have we got to show that talk produced any good result. In the end NK was able to build its nuclear arsenal and is not shy about using them on Americans. Watch, Iran will copy what NK has done with its nuclear ambitions. It is time these bleeding heart grow some b5lls and stand up to rogue nations with nuclear ambitions.

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