WASHINGTON-- The United States is ready to impose additional sanctions, including secondary boycotts, in order to ratchet up pressure on North Korea until the regime becomes willing to hold talks about giving up its nuclear program, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Wednesday.

"We are preparing additional sanctions, if it turns out North Korea's actions warrant additional sanctions. We're hopeful that the regime in North Korea will think about this and come to a conclusion that there's another way to the future," Tillerson said in an address to department employees.

Tillerson said the pressure campaign has a "knob" on it.

"I'd say we're at about dial setting 5 or 6 right now, with a strong call of countries all over the world to fully implement the U.N. Security Council resolutions regarding sanctions, because no one has ever fully implemented those," he said.

Tillerson warned other nations that the U.S. is closely watching how they carry out sanctions.

"When we see you not implementing, we see companies or we see individuals that are violating these sanctions, we're going to contact you and we're going to ask you to take care of it. If you can't take care of it or you simply don't want to take care of it for your own internal political reasons, we will," Tillerson said. "We'll sanction them through third-country sanctions."

Tillerson said the North should get out of its belief that nuclear weapons are the only way to secure its future, stressing that what the U.S. is looking for is denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, not regime change or collapse.

"We've been clear to them this is not about regime change, this is not about regime collapse, this is not about an accelerated reunification of the peninsula, this is not about us looking for an excuse to come north of the 38th parallel," Tillerson said.

Tillerson said the U.S. is trying to be "very, very clear and resolute" in its message that the North can achieve its future security and economic prosperity only by giving up its nuclear program.

He said the U.S. is willing to hold talks, but won't negotiate its way to negotiations.

"We are ready and prepared to engage in talks when conditions are right. But as you've heard me say, we are not going to negotiate our way to the negotiating table. That is what Pyongyang has done for the last 20 years, is cause us to have to negotiate to get them to sit down," Tillerson said.

"We'll sit down when they're ready to sit down under the right terms," he said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency