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U.S. can talk to North Korea if it stops missile tests: Tillerson


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a door open for dialogue with North Korea on Monday, saying Washington was willing to talk to Pyongyang if it halted a series of recent missile test launches, APA reports quoting Reuters.

 

Tillerson's comments at a regional security forum in Manila were the latest U.S. attempt to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear and missile programs after months of tough talk from U.S. President Donald Trump.

 

The U.N. Security Council on Saturday imposed its toughest round of sanctions yet against Pyongyang over its two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests in July.

 

But Tillerson appeared more conciliatory on Monday.

 

"When the conditions are right, then we can sit and have a dialogue around the future of North Korea so they feel secure and prosper economically," Tillerson told reporters.

 

"The best signal that North Korea can give us that they are prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches," said Tillerson, adding that "other means of communications" were open to Pyongyang.

 

There was no direct reaction from North Korea to Tillerson's remarks but in a statement after the U.S. secretary of state made his comments, Pyongyang responded robustly to the new sanctions by saying it was ready to teach the United States a "severe lesson" if it attacked.

 

The U.N. Security Council unanimously imposed sanctions on North Korea aimed at pressuring Pyongyang to end its nuclear program. The sanctions could further choke North Korea's struggling economy by slashing its $3 billion annual export revenue by a third.

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