Tillerson: US open to diplomacy with North Korea - if missile launches stop

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Tillerson: US open to diplomacy with North Korea - if missile launches stop

North Korea denounced Monday the latest United Nations sanctions imposed after its tests of intercontinental ballistic missiles last month and pledged to take "righteous action".

The United Nations Security Council at the weekend passed a new set of sanctions against Pyongyang over its weapons programmes, including bans on the export of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood from the impoverished state.

Tillerson "said that China and Russian Federation will not miscalculate if there is firm cooperation between South Korea and the United States, and between South Korea, the U.S. and Japan", the official said, adding that "Tillerson and Kang devoted a great deal of time to discussing how to motivate China and Russia" in regard to the sanctions against North Korea.

The North said it would take an unspecified "resolute action of justice" and would never place its nuclear program on the negotiating table or "flinch an inch" from its push to strengthen its nuclear deterrence as long as USA hostility against North Korea persists.

US President Donald Trump and his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-In today agreed that North Korea poses a "grave and growing direct threat" to most of the world as the two leaders in a telephone call welcomed the new sanctions imposed on Pyongyang by the UNSC.

"I'm not going to give someone a specific number of days or weeks".

The U.S. and China had been negotiating the draft text released on Saturday for about a month.

"On Aug. 7, Tillerson and Kang will be holding a trilateral foreign ministers" meeting with Japan's newly appointed Foreign Minister Taro Kono, including a business luncheon, where they are planning to discuss ways to respond to North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile programs.

"The best signal that North Korea could send that they're prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches", said Tillerson, who was in Manila to attend the regional security meeting with the Association of the South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Before Tillerson's trip, the US had said he had no plans to interact with North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho.

"Sanctions to the greatest possible extent must avoid causing negative impacts to ordinary people and to third countries, and avoid bringing disaster to the country in questions of normal and legal trade and business exchanges with the outside world, people's normal lives and the humanitarian situation", reported the paper.

The United States and North Korea's neighbors are joining in a fresh attempt to isolate Pyongyang over its nuclear and missile programs, in a global pressure campaign.

"If enemies believe that North Korea can be rattled by sanctions, it is nothing more than a delusion", it added.

Moon requested the call, a White House official said.

Tillerson spoke to reporters on the sidelines of a major summit hosted by Southeast Asian countries in the Philippines, where he has been meeting with regional partners to turn the heat up on North Korea after the country tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles in July.

The foreign ministers of Japan, the United States and Australia on Monday expressed serious concerns over disputes in the South China Sea, where China is increasing its moves to build military facilities.

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