Tillerson: US 'a Long Way' from Talks with Pyongyang

U.S. wary of North Korea weapons advances while talks take place

Tillerson: US 'a Long Way' from Talks with Pyongyang

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has taken a cautious stance on possible US dialogue with North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

Explaining Trump's decision-making about the meeting, Tillerson said that the US had witnessed a shift from North Korea that became apparent when a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang, then traveled to Washington to brief USA officials on the rare meeting.

"Talks for the sake of talks are meaningless and we should never loosen sanctions just because North Korea is open to talks", he said.

China has said it is "cheering on" North and South Korea after they agreed to hold a leaders' summit on reducing tensions on the peninsula.

"This is really an opportunity that is hard to come by", Zhao said."If this opportunity isn't seized or if the North loses its patience after a period of waiting for the U.S.to come to the negotiation table, it may resume its nuclear tests and prove to the world that its nuclear capabilities are reliable and solid".

He said, "For the first time in many years, a serious effort is being made by all parties concerned" and that " the U.S.is ready to go hard in either direction!".

Foreign Minister Wang Yi cautiously welcomed Seoul's announcement that Pyongyang had offered to hold denuclearization talks with the United States in return for security guarantees.

North Korea agreed to shut down its nuclear and weapons programme in exchange for aid and reduced sanctions. He said China was now encouraging follow-up measures and called for the U.S.to join in the dialogue "sooner rather than later".

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.

They said Kim also expressed a willingness to denuclearize, something he previously declared non-negotiable, if his country's security was guaranteed.

Under pressure from US President Donald Trump, Beijing has backed a series of United Nations sanctions against North Korea, sending relations between the Cold War-era allies to a new low.

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