'Trump wrecks USA foreign policy' as huge cuts proposed at State Department

Two decades of diplomacy aimed at curbing North Korea's nuclear ambitions have failed and a new approach is needed, the United States' top envoy said on Thursday (Mar 16).

Staunch US ally South Korea, which Mr Tillerson visits on Friday, is rudderless following the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye, who had been embroiled in a political scandal.

Still, given that Trump suggested during the campaign that he might pull back from USA security commitments to allies in Asia, both Japan and South Korea are likely to remain anxious about US resolve.

Both Japan and South Korea, which are United States military allies and host USA troops, are within missile distance of North Korea. One reporter asked if this decision was a move to exclude the diplomatic press corps (Toner said it wasn't) and whether the motivation was to have a "friendly" outlet aboard that presumably would provide more favorable coverage.

"China has been part of the problem rather than part of the solution", said Bruce Klingner, a senior research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, who describes North Korea as a global military threat.

The U.S. provided $1.35 billion in assistance to encourage North Korea to "take a different pathway", he said.

"In the face of this ever escalating threat, it is clear that a different approach is required", he said.

"It is critical in particular as we address North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missiles programs", he added.

He did not reveal how the Trump administration, which is now doing a review of USA policy towards North Korea, would tackle the country.

Lederman reported from Washington.

The IJR said in a statement late Tuesday the State Department last week offered one of its reporters, Erin McPike, a place aboard the Secretary's aircraft on his trip this week to Asia. News emerged last week that the State Department wouldn't be allowing reps of State Department press corps onto Tillerson's plane, breaking with a long tradition in USA global diplomacy.

Japan recalled its Ambassador to South Korea Yasumasa Nagamine in January over a comfort woman statue in front of the Japanese Consulate-General in Busan. The leading candidate is said to be leery of defense cooperation with Japan and the U.S.as well.

Mr Tillerson's trip starts with Japan, which is likely to be the easiest leg of the journey.

"Clearly the level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking, particularly in this past year, is simply not sustainable", Tillerson said. Ltd for ties to North Korea - the first time the Obama administration hit a Chinese firm with sanctions for dealing with North Korea and supporting its nuclear program.