TOKYO (CBSMiami) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is on a mission to find a way out of the region’s most pressing problem, an increasingly aggressive and capable North Korea.
Just last week North Korea test-fired missiles that landed in the Sea of Japan, rattling Japan which hosts more than 50-thousand U.S. troops.
“In the face of this ever growing threat, it is clear a different approach is required,” said Tillerson.
When asked, he gave no specifics to what the new approach is but any new strategy will need China, the only country with real leverage over Kim Jong Un.
When CBS News reporter Adriana Diaz asked Tillerson how he will get China on the same page as the U.S. to diffuse the threat from North Korea, Tillerson replied, “China is a major source of economic trade and activity with North Korea so we look to China to fulfill its obligations and fully implement the sanctions called for in the U.N. resolutions.”
Friday, Tillerson travels to South Korea, which is in political turmoil after its president was impeached last week over a corruption scandal.
The U.S. is currently deploying a controversial missile interception system there known as THAAD, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which could be halted by South Korea’s next leader. China vehemently objects to THAAD, over fears its radar could peer into China. But cohesion is needed between China, the U.S. and South Korea to deal with the north.
“North Korea and its people need not fear the U.S or their neighbors in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea,” said Tillerson.
Despite these diplomatic challenges, the Secretary defended the White House’s proposed 29-percent State Department budget cuts.