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U.S. continues to pursue complete, verifiable North Korea denuclearisation, says Esper

U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark Esper listens during a news conference at the U.S. Department of State following the 30th AUSMIN in Washington, D.C. July 28, 2020. Brendan Smialowski/Pool via REUTERS

(Reuters) - The United States continues to pursue the complete and verifiable denuclearisation of North Korea, U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Wednesday.

Speaking at an event in Hawaii, Esper said the U.S. military has a responsibility to maintain a state of readiness against North Korea but added that diplomacy is the way to go in resolving the standoff with Pyongyang.

Reporting by Ben Blanchard and Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman