Tillerson: Talks with North Korea may be close

2017-08-23 10:45
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Mark Thiessen, AP File)

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. (Mark Thiessen, AP File)

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Washington - The US said on Tuesday that talks with North Korea might be possible "in the near future" after Pyongyang reacted to tough new UN sanctions with a level of restraint.

But, in keeping with a "dual track" strategy of reaching out to the North diplomatically while increasing economic pressure, Washington also imposed new sanctions on Chinese and Russian firms suspected of doing business with Pyongyang.

Briefing reporters, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a point of acknowledging that Kim Jong-Un's regime has not carried out any new nuclear or ballistic missile tests since the UN Security Council imposed a new round of tougher sanctions last month.

"I am pleased to see that the regime in Pyongyang has certainly demonstrated some level of restraint that we've not seen in the past," Tillerson said.

"We need to see more on their part, but I want to acknowledge the steps they've taken thus far. I think it's important to take note of that."

US officials told AFP that Tillerson was not thanking Pyongyang, nor making any concession on Washington's determination to halt Kim's missile programme and negotiate the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Read more on:    kim jong-un  |  rex tillerson  |  us  |  north korea  |  north korea nuclear programme
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