Trump Has 'Duty' to Prepare for War With North Korea's Kim Jong Un, Says British Foreign Secretary

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North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, on October 13. Boris Johnson, Britain’s foreign secretary, urged North Korea to come to the table for talks. KCNA/Reuters

Britain's foreign secretary has said that President Donald Trump has "an absolute duty" to prepare for war with North Korea—but urged the rogue state to return to the table for talks.

Speaking at the Chatham House think tank on Monday, Boris Johnson said, "The 45th president of the United States contemplates a regime led by a man who...threatens to reduce New York to 'ashes.'"

As such, the foreign secretary said, "I am afraid that the U.S. president...will have an absolute duty to prepare any option to keep safe not only the American people but all those who have sheltered under the American nuclear umbrella."

"The crucial question Kim Jong Un surely needs to ask himself is whether his current activities are making Pyongyang any safer for himself and his regime," Johnson added.

"And I hope Kim will also consider this," the British politician said, "that if his objective is to intimidate the U.S. into wholesale withdrawal from East Asia, then it strikes me that his current course might almost be designed to produce the opposite effect."

Johnson praised the U.S.'s position on talks with North Korea. "It is right that [Secretary of State] Rex Tillerson has specifically opened the door to dialogue," Johnson said.

"He has tried to give some sensible reassurances to the regime, to enable them to take up this offer.

"No seeking regime change in North Korea; no seeking to force the collapse of North Korea's regime; no seeking to deploy U.S. forces beyond the 38th parallel; no attempt to accelerate the reunification of Korea.

"These are the commitments that we hope will encourage Kim Jong Un to halt his nuclear weapons program, to come to the negotiating table, and thereby to take the only path that can guarantee the security of the region as a whole," Johnson said.

According to a Sky News report of the event, Johnson also responded to a question from that network's correspondent on whether the U.K. would support America in the event of a preemptive strike on North Korea.

"It must remain on the table," Johnson said.

"There is a spectrum of things that could be done. It is the duty of any president of the United States, given the threat that his or her country could face, to at least explore those military options," he said.