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Tillerson: North Korea ‘Need Not Fear’ U.S.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, while in Tokyo on Thursday, asked North Korea to abandon its “dangerous and unlawful” nuclear-weapons program. The former ExxonMobil CEO, on his first trip to Asia as a U.S. diplomat, met with Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida and the two reportedly discussed approaches to handling the increasingly belligerent Hermit Kingdom. “North Korea and its people need not fear the United States or their neighbors in the region who seek only to live in peace with North Korea,” Tillerson said during a news conference. “With this in mind, the United States calls on North Korea to abandon its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs and refrain from any further provocation.” Last week, Pyongyang launched four missiles into the waters off Japan and publicly announced the move was a dry run for an attack on U.S. bases there. In response, the U.S. military has moved in its THAAD missile system and missile-carrying Gray Eagle drones to bordering South Korea, along with the USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier, which is conducting drills offshore. Tillerson will also meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, before traveling to South Korea and then China.