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

FILE PHOTO: Secretary of Defense Mark Esper testifies during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on 'Department of Defense Authorities and Roles Related to Civilian Law Enforcement' in Washington, DC, U.S. July 9, 2020. Greg Nash/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