Tillerson retreats on unconditional talks with North Korea

Posted December 19, 2017

Later, in remarks to the press, Tillerson was asked directly to explain where the United States stood on preconditions.

Anxieties about United States power could combine with a crippled economy and the loss of China and Russian Federation as allies to force the belligerent autocracy to cool down its nuclear programme. "We will, in the meantime, keep our channels of communication open", Tillerson said.

"Our communication channels remain open", he added.

He said US communication channels with North Korea remain open and the North knows that.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said on Friday that analysis continued on North Korea's most recent missile test, but he did not believe its intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) posed an imminent threat to the United States.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called the North Korean nuclear crisis the world's "most tense and unsafe security issue", and without identifying the U.S. by name, warned of the risk of bellicose language. "The Secretary doesn't speak word for word from prepared remarks and works to deliver the words that will be the most impactful to the audience he is addressing". At the United Nations, Tillerson took a tough line.

He said the USA does not want war but "will use all necessary measures to defend itself against North Korean aggression".

The UN's World Food Programme, Unicef, the World Health Organisation and the UN Development Programme all have operations in North Korea.

"All of these steps force us to wonder about the sincerity of statements that suggest that there is a preference for a peaceful approach to resolving the crisis in DPRK", Nebenzya said.

China at the meeting warned against "mutual blaming". During the first nine months of 2017, its trade with North Korea amounted to US$1.61 million (Bt52 million), which represented a 94-per-cent drop from the same period in 2016. That campaign, he said, must be given time to succeed. Addressing the council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged diplomatic engagement to avoid a "level of danger that would be unpredictable in its trajectory and catastrophic in its consequences". "In the face of such a threat, inaction is unacceptable for any nation".

The U.S. and close allies South Korea and Japan called for increased pressure on the North to get Kim's government to negotiate the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. If the next move fails, countries in this region that North Korea deems to be enemies would be at grave risk.

In a challenge to the global order, North Korea has issued a threat that it will become "world's most powerful nuclear and military state".

But the waves of multilateral and direct USA sanctions that have been imposed on Kim Jong Un's regime following its missile launches and nuclear tests have now made operations so hard that some agencies are pulling out.