Tillerson: North Korea 'must earn its way back' to negotiations

16 December, 2017, 19:18 | Author: Jason Torres
  • A United Nations Security Council meeting about the international response to North Korea's nuclear weapons took place on Friday. EPA  JUSTIN LANE

The United States clashed with North Korea at a specially convened UN Security Council meeting to discuss Pyongyang's nuclear program.

North Korea's latest missile test, which USA experts say indicated an increasing technological sophistication, did not demonstrate an imminent threat of nuclear attack on the United States, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said today.

Since then, Mattis has said little about it publicly, and the administration has sent mixed messages about its willingness to begin talks with North Korea.

"There is no doubt that the DPRK's pursuit of a nuclear arsenal is in clear violation of worldwide law, directly challenges the global nonproliferation regime, and greatly threatens worldwide peace and security", he said, using an acronym North Korea uses to refer to itself.

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Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test in September and has conducted 20 missile launches including its first tests of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM). "They alone are responsible for these tensions, they alone must take responsibility for these tensions, and they alone can solve these tensions", he added.

He said: "With respect to the talks, we are not going to accept preconditions".

While Feltman received no firm commitment from North Korea to open talks, he has said the visit is "just the beginning" of his push for "talks about talks". In the meantime, countries must continue sanctions to starve the nation of cash. "The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved".

Guterres called for re-establishing communication channels including military-to-military channels on the Korean peninsula to lower the risk of miscalculation.

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