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Tillerson: U.S. open to talks with N. Korea despite missile launch

2017/08/28 01:46

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WASHINGTON, Aug. 27 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Sunday he is willing to have talks with North Korea even after its latest missile provocation.

Tillerson made the remark on Fox News Sunday, a day after Pyongyang fired three missiles into waters between the Korean Peninsula and Japan. South Korea said the projectiles appeared to be artillery rockets from a multiple-rocket launcher. The U.S. characterized them as short-range ballistic missiles.

"The firing of any ballistic missile is a violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions," the secretary said. "We view it as provocative against the United States and its allies."

   He said the launches sent a signal that Pyongyang is still not prepared to back away from its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

"Having said that, we're going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign, as I have described it, working with allies and working with China as well to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table with a view to begin a dialogue on a different future on the Korean Peninsula and for North Korea," he said.

Tillerson last week noted that North Korea has exercised "restraint" since the U.N. Security Council adopted new sanctions against the regime early this month.

He denied he was wrong to say that.

"We continue to want the Kim (Jong-un) regime to understand there is a different path he can choose," Tillerson noted. "There is also a unified voice echoing our message that no one wants to see a nuclear Korean Peninsula. We hope for an opportunity to engage with them as to how we might achieve that."