Tillerson says U.S. in contact with N. Korea over possible nuclear talks

Katrina Barker
October 3, 2017

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man", Trump wrote on Twitter, using his sarcastic nickname for Kim.

Donald Trump told his secretary of state that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with Kim Jong-un to defuse an increasingly tense nuclear stand-off.

Trump's brief statement on Twitter came just a day after Tillerson announced the USA is maintaining direct channels of communications with North Korea on a trip to China.

"We have lines of communication with Pyongyang".

"We are not in a dark situation, a blackout".

But Tillerson said USA diplomats do not rely on China as a go-between in overtures to North Korea, and have themselves talked directly through "our own channels".

The US was in direct communication with the regime, he said, adding, "we can talk to them, we do talk to them". "We ask, Would you like to talk?"

His office in Washington quickly clarified that North Korea has shown no interest in such discussions.

The remarks - and Mr Trump's extraordinary intervention on Sunday - highlighted the divergent views within the United States administration on how best to get Kim Jong-un to halt his nuclear ambitions.

After he left China, his spokeswoman issued a statement saying that North Korean officials "have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization".

"I don't see this as an opening at this time", said Ruggiero, who spent more than 17 years in the US government as an expert in the use of targeted financial measures. On Sept. 20, he acknowledged only "very, very limited" contact with Pyongyang's United Nations envoy.

Direct talks between Washington and Pyongyang may help ease tensions on the Korean Peninsula, which have been escalating due to a series of North Korean missile tests and the North's sixth and possibly most powerful nuclear test so far, staged September 3.

In response to North Korea's continued weapons development this year, the UN Security Council agreed to increased sanctions on North Korea, gaining support from China and Russian Federation.

Unfortunately, there's none to be had. Moscow, however, was instrumental in keeping North Korea's fuel supply open, being one of the countries that rejected the US's push to impose a complete fuel embargo on the reclusive regime. The US accepting the fait accompli of North Korean nukes is not possible at this point and it's hard to see how it will ever play out that way.

Kim was officially declared leader of North Korea following the death of his father, Kim Jong Il, in 2011. But as long as Kim keeps firing off missiles and testing nukes, he runs the risk of alienating the entire planet, making a USA strike a certainty.

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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