WASHINGTON (AFP/REUTERS) - Sanctions over North Korea's nuclear programme are taking a toll on Kim Jong Un's regime, but Washington still hopes to find a diplomatic solution to the long-simmering crisis, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday (Nov 20).
Tillerson's comments came after President Donald Trump announced that North Korea was being restored to the US blacklist of state sponsors of terrorism.
"We still hope for diplomacy," Tillerson told a White House press conference.
"This is all part of continuing to turn this pressure up," he said, noting that evidence showed the measures were having a "significant effect" on Pyongyang.
He said that the move to designate North Korea as a state sponsor of terrorism will help dissuade third parties from supporting Pyongyang.
"The practical effect of it is... it may though disrupt, and dissuade some third parties from undertaking certain activities with North Korea, as it does impose prohibition on a number of other activities that may not be covered by existing sanctions," Tillerson said.
He added that the US was well aware of a number of executions of members within Kim's inner circle and the military.