WASHINGTON, April 17 (Xinhua) -- The United States is not seeking conflict or "regime change" in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and is looking for signal that the DPRK is willing to abandon its unclear weapons program, a senior U.S. State Department official said on Monday.
Stressing that the U.S. goal remains the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, Susan Thornton, acting assistant secretary of state, said at a briefing that the United States prefers to solve the issue peacefully.
"The U.S. has been clear that we want to resolve this issue through the peaceful denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," said Thornton. "We're definitely not seeking conflict or regime change."
However, the United States remains committed to defending its people and its allies, should it be necessary, Thornton added.
According to Thornton, the preference of the U.S. administration under President Donald Trump is "to put pressure" on the DPRK to force it to roll back its "illegal programs."
Thornton also said that the current conditions are "not really ripe" for any kind of talks with the DPRK. However, she said the United States is looking for any promising signs.
"We're really looking for some kind of signal that they (DPRK) have realized that the current status quo is unsustainable and that they will have to make a fundamental decision about getting rid of these illegal programs in order to turn the page and have a more normal engagement with the international community," said Thornton.
The DPRK attempted on Sunday to test-fire an unidentified missile on its east coast, which was believed to have failed, South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff said. The Pentagon confirmed later that the latest missile launch by the DPRK had failed.
The DPRK is banned from testing ballistic missile technology under UN Security Council resolutions.
Earlier on Monday, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said in South Korea that "an era of strategic patience is over" on the issue of DPRK.
In another development, the United Nations on Monday called on the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) to take all the steps necessary to de-escalate the situation and return to dialogue and denuclearization, said a spokesperson.