Tillerson Plays Good Cop on North Korea in Beijing Trip

South Korean President Moon Jae-in thanked former South Korean prisoners of war for their patriotism during an Armed Forces Day meeting earlier this week the Ministry of National Defense said Friday

Tillerson Plays Good Cop on North Korea in Beijing Trip

A few hours earlier, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that America and North Korea have "direct communication" about the matter.

"North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearisation", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Saturday. We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. Since President Donald Trump assumed office in January, the US has reestablished a conciliatory back-channel.

The visit comes as relations between the two superpowers appear to be improving after months of tensions over how to handle North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un's nuclear provocations.

"Him waving the sanctions stick and demonstration of muscle using bombers, which fly before the embattled armed forces of the DPRK is an act of suicide", said the North Korean representative.

While Tillerson has said similarly moderate things before - in August he noted North Korea's "restraint" and said the USA wanted more goodwill gestures from the regime - his latest remarks in Beijing appeared tailored for a Chinese audience.

Tillerson expressed hope for reducing tensions with North Korea, which is fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland.

For now, Tillerson said, the most important thing is to tone down any threats between North Korea and the United States. "We do talk to them", he said, without elaborating.

The measures were in accordance with United Nations sanctions that were approved earlier in September after North Korea detonated its sixth and most powerful nuclear bomb - a test that triggered an quake felt across the border in China.

"Our two presidents have developed a very regular and close working relationship", Tillerson told Yang.

Trump's November trip will be part of a tour that will also take in regional allies Japan and South Korea.

While Tillerson and Chinese leaders didn't mention North Korea in public remarks, he did raise the issue behind closed doors, according to a senior State Department official who asked not to be identified because the talks were private.

Trump has repeatedly urged Xi to exert more economic pressure on Pyongyang to convince the renegade regime to give up its nuclear ambitions.

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