US Eyes Sanctions, Other Efforts to Isolate North Korea

Tillerson to Ask Other Countries to Close North Korean Embassies

While most of the talk over the past couple of weeks on US policy in North Korea has centered on the possibility of a unilateral US attack starting a major war, administration officials today emphasized that their current focus is on new sanctions, as well as “diplomacy.”

The diplomacy is not with North Korea, naturally, as the Trump Administration has already condemned any idea of talking with them. Rather, the focus appears to be on pushing other nations to take measures against North Korea, with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson expected to ask other nations to shut down their embassies.

Beyond that, the administration is said to be considering adding North Korea to the official US list of “state sponsors of terrorism.” Officials were quick to insist this label was not discussed in the White House briefing for the entire US Senate.

Exactly what was discussed wasn’t clear, but senators came away from the meeting talking up the idea of the US forcing China to impose “peaceful denuclearization” on North Korea somehow, with few details and talk of “military preparations” that are ongoing.

The “military preparations” are a big concern, as the White House apparently heavily played up the idea of North Korea as a “grave” military threat.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.