U.S. secretary of state to meet with Canada's cabinet, talk Korea crisis

Tillerson said earlier this week that the U.S. was "ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk", which appeared to step back from a U.S. demand that Pyongyang first accept that any negotiations would hinge on the country agreeing to give up its nuclear arsenal.

North Korea's growing nuclear capabilities amount to a "direct threat to our security and the security of the entire world", Tillerson told the 15-nation council at a high-level meeting on nuclear nonproliferation convened by Japan, which now holds the UNSC rotating presidency.

North Korea has made clear it has little interest in negotiations with the United States until it has developed the ability to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile, something most experts say it has still not proved.

"A sustained cessation of North Korea's threatening behavior must occur before talks can begin".

"North Korea must earn its way back to the table".

Tillerson has been seeking non-military solutions to the impasse, while other members of the administration, including President Donald Trump, have expressed skepticism about whether diplomacy can work.

The risk of war, Guterres said, "is being multiplied by misplaced over-confidence, unsafe narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels".

The debate over offering North Korea unconditional talks reflects the differences within the Trump administration as it runs out of time to prevent North Korea from perfecting a nuclear-tipped missile that can strike the U.S. mainland.

The two are co-hosting an worldwide conference in the new year on the North Korea standoff.

"While all concerned seek to avoid an accidental escalation leading to conflict, the risk is being multiplied by misplaced overconfidence, risky narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels", Guterres said.

Tillerson also doubted China's commitment to "solving an issue that has serious implications for the security of its own citizens" due to the crude oil still being supplied to the North Koreans by the Chinese.

"Continuing to allow North Korean laborers to toil in slave-like conditions in Russian Federation in exchange for wages used to fund nuclear weapons programs calls into question Russia's dedication as a partner for peace", he added.

"It is time to immediately re-establish and strengthen communication channels, including inter-Korean and military-to-military channels", Guterres said.

"It is necessary to put an immediate end to rhetoric and actions that are unfavourable to denuclearisation as well as peace and security of the Korean peninsula", said Wu Haitao, China's deputy United Nations ambassador. North Korea has acknowledged abducting 13 and allowed five of them to visit Japan in 2002.

Kono also asked Tillerson to fully probe why part of a US military helicopter fell onto an elementary school playground near a controversial Marine Corps base in Japan's Okinawa Prefecture and to make sure it does not happen again, Japanese officials said.

On September 3, Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test, setting off an underground explosion that registered a 6.1 on the seismic scale. In a rare appearance at the council, North Korea's United Nations ambassador was present at the meeting and expected to speak after council members. North Korea is also the only country in the world to have violated a voluntary moratorium on nuclear testing. They should agree to what we propose: "'Put your drills - which, in principle, are a provocation by the United States against the North - on hold for the talks to start", Kim said.

  • Joey Payne