Tillerson: US is 'long ways' from negotiations with N. Korea

Rex Tillerson

"President Trump has said for some time that he was open to talks and he would willingly meet with Kim when conditions were right", the top USA diplomat said. No names have been suggested yet, CNN reported. "We need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it", Tillerson said at the press conference.

The official told CNN, however, the detente leaves the United States on the margins.

He said the United States was surprised at how "forward-leaning" Kim was in his conversations with a visiting South Korean delegation.

The last time major global talks were held to persuade North Korea to disarm were the so-called Six Party Talks involving North and South Korea, the US, China Japan, and Russian Federation.

Trump has derided Kim as a "maniac", referred to him as "little rocket man", and threatened in a speech to the United Nations past year to "totally destroy" North Korea if it attacked the United States or one of its allies. The North Korean leader also promised to stop nuclear and ballistic missile testing while talks with the USA were under way, according to the adviser.

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According to an upcoming UN Panel of Experts (PoE) report, North Korea continues to leverage its historical relationships on the African continent to breach UN sanctions.

"The goal of the global maximum pressure campaign, which has been supported by multiple UN Security Council resolutions, is to motivate North Korea to achieve the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

Moon Jae-in spoke on Thursday morning before two senior Seoul officials were to head to the United States to brief officials about the outcome of their recent visit to North Korea.

China says its proposal for a "dual suspension" of North Korean nuclear tests in return for a halt to war games by South Korea and the USA has proven successful.

Abe told a parliamentary session Thursday that North Korea should not be rewarded just for agreeing to talks.

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