The deputy secretary of State reportedly said Tuesday that the United States must be “prepared for the worst” if diplomatic efforts to combat North Korea’s aggression do not succeed.
“We must, however, with our allies in Japan and South Korea and elsewhere, be prepared for the worst should diplomacy fail,” Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan said following a meeting with Japan’s vice minister of foreign affairs, according to The Associated Press.
Sullivan’s Japanese counterpart, Shinsuke Sugiyama, emphasized diplomatic talks when speaking with reporters.Sugiyama and Sullivan will travel to South Korea this week to continue discussions.
Sullivan’s comments come as tensions between North Korea and the United States have escalated this year. Pyongyang conducted two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July and in September said it successfully tested a hydrogen bomb than can be placed on an ICBM.
President Trump has said the United States will “totally destroy” North Korea should America need to “defend itself or its allies” from the rogue nation’s aggression.