United States special envoy backs unconditional talks with North Korea

Cheryl Sanders
December 16, 2017

"North Korea knows they're open, they know where the door is, they know where to walk through the door when they want to".

Joseph Yun told reporters in Bangkok that the talks could take place without preconditions and would serve Washington's dual approach of pressure and engagement on Pyongyang over its nuclear program.

The White House however said there was no change in USA policy and Tillerson did not repeat the offer at the council meeting.

Rex Tillerson
GETTYMr Tillerson also revealed the US would continue to tighten its grip on North Korea

"The United States will use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression, but our hope remains that diplomacy will produce a resolution".

"The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved", he said. Russia and China have reiterated their commitment to close coordination of efforts over the situation in the Korean Peninsula, the Russian foreign ministry said on Friday after a meeting between Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov and China's Ambassador to Moscow Li Hiu.

"We do not seek, nor do we want, war with North Korea", Tillerson said.

"As I said earlier this week, a sustained cessation of North Korea's threatening behavior must occur before talks can begin", Tillerson told a meeting of the U.N. Security Council in NY.

The United States has called on China to cut off oil supplies to North Korea, a move that would deal a crippling blow to its economy.

The top U.S. diplomat, who met Thursday with Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis, urged countries in the room to do more than just meet the letter of UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea - and called out Moscow and Beijing in particular. TIllerson added, "militarily we are going to be prepared should something go wrong".

Mr Tillerson said Pyongyang had to carry out a "sustained cessation" of weapons testing before any talks. Instead, he called the council meeting "a desperate measure plotted by the US being terrified by the incredible might of our republic that has successfully achieved the great historic cause of completing the state nuclear force". In the meantime, countries must continue sanctions to starve the nation of cash.

China and Russian Federation argue that sanctions alone will not compel North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to change course and want to step up diplomatic efforts to achieve a solution.

The secretary of state said that he had been engaging with China on how to secure the nuclear weapons if North Korea's government collapsed.

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