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US ready to talk to North Korea

Some of the missiles on display in North Korea early this month.

US seeks talks with North Korea to solve nuke issue

Washington, United States | AFP | The United States is not ruling out direct dialogue with North Korea on its nuclear program, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in an interview with National Public Radio.

“Obviously, that would be the way we would like to solve this,” he said, according to the transcript published Friday, when asked whether Washington seeks talks with Pyongyang.

“But North Korea has to decide they’re ready to talk to us about the right agenda — and the right agenda is not simply stopping where they are for a few more months or a few more years and then resuming things.

Trump and Xi in “constant touch” as tensions rise: govt

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his US counterpart Donald Trump have been in “constant touch”, Beijing said Friday, referring to the budding friendship between the two heads of state who began their relationship at loggerheads.

Though Trump’s election campaign was marked with acerbic denouncements of Beijing’s “rape” of the US economy, the billionaire politician has lately dropped his anti-China bombast in the hopes of wooing the country into a harder stance against its ally Pyongyang.

Since their first face-to-face meeting in Florida earlier this month, the two presidents “have been in constant touch with each other, exchanging views on bilateral relations and issues of mutual interest,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said Friday, adding:

“This is good for the two countries and also for the whole world.”

Their newfound closeness comes as Trump has made North Korea his top foreign policy priority, with the US administration issuing weeks of warnings that it will no longer tolerate Pyongyang’s missile launches and nuclear tests.

Beijing has repeatedly called for a return to talks on denuclearisation but has long opposed dramatic action against the North, fearing the regime’s collapse would send a flood of refugees across its borders and leave the US military on its doorstep.

The US is expected to push for a tougher Chinese response on Friday at a UN Security Council meeting chaired by US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and attended by Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.

But when asked whether China would give, Geng said that “dialogue and consultation is the only viable way out” of the rising crisis.

“It’s not China who has been escalating tensions, so the key to resolving this issue is not in our hands,” he said.


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