US in direct communication with North Korea – Rex Tillerson

'Obviously it would help if North Korea would stop firing missiles. That’d calm things down a lot,' said the US Secretary of State

1 October 2017, 10:45am
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson
United States’ Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that the US was directly communicating with North Korea, although, he said, Pyongyang did not seem like it was interested in dialogue.

Speaking to journalists during a trip to China, Tillerson said that the two countries had been in communication over the North’s missile programme, adding that the US was “probing”.

“We have lines of communication to Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout,” he said, adding that there were two or three channels open.

Following Tillerson’s statements, the State Department said that “North Korean officials [had] shown no indication that they are interested in, or are ready for talks regarding denuclearisation”, in a bid to tamp down expectations.

Tillerson’s remarks followed a day of meetings in Beijing, which has become increasingly more concerned with the war of words taking place between the US and the North.

The secretary of state described that situation as “a bit overheated right now”, insisting “everyone would like for it to calm down.

“Obviously it would help if North Korea would stop firing missiles. That’d calm things down a lot,” he said.

According to reports coming out of North Korea, mostly based on Pyongyang’s own declarations, the rogue state is making good headway in reaching its goal of a nuclear tipped intercontinental ballistic missile.

Despite sanctions and widespread condemnation, North Korea conducted its sixth and largest nuclear test on 3 September, threatening to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific.