Published: Fri, March 09, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Tillerson cautious about possible US-N.Korea talks

Tillerson cautious about possible US-N.Korea talks

Tillerson said Trump made the decision "himself" after determining the time was right for "talks" but not formal negotiations.

But Wang issued a word of caution, noting that breakthroughs on the North Korean nuclear issue had collapsed in the past.

The two Koreas held a landmark meeting in Pyongyang earlier this week.

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

Speaking at a news conference in Ethiopia on Thursday, Tillerson said the United States and North Korea are still a long way from negotiations.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says there are "potentially positive symbols" coming from North Korea but that "we're a long ways from negotiations".

He and Suh Hoon (C), head of the National Intelligence Service, will head to Japan, Russia and China to brief them on the developments.

US officials and experts believe North Korea also needs more time to create facilities capable of mass-producing missiles, engines and other components - a challenge to any country even without the constraints of stringent global sanctions.

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He added that the systemic issues of the industry such as excessive taxes and levies of 30% or more remained unaddressed. Predatory pricing from new entrant Reliance Jio had made matters worse for other players.

North Korea views such exercises as a threat and wants them to stop. North Korea has test-fired increasingly powerful missiles and at one point seemed primed to fire a missile towards the tiny US Pacific territory of Guam.

"The North Korean side clearly stated its willingness to denuclearize", the South Korean presidential office said in a statement.

On Tuesday, the South Korean Government announced President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were set to hold a summit in April - only the third time in history that the countries' leaders would have met.

The toughest regime of sanctions on North Korea to date, which has had an effect on both Pyongyang and its closet allies, China and Russian Federation, are expected to continue, as are military exercises conducted by Seoul and Washington.

The diplomatic process "will be clouded by various interferences, " Yi said.

According to Seoul, Kim said the North wanted to talk to the USA and would not need nuclear weapons if the country's security was guaranteed.

The last time major worldwide 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.

He did argue that China's advocacy of a freeze for freeze (nuclear and missile tests in the North and military exercises in the South) had contributed to the current thaw.

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