Tillerson Says U.S. Probing Whether Pyongyang Is Interested in Dialogue

The United States is probing North Korea to see whether it is interested in dialogue and has multiple direct channels of communication with Pyongyang, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Saturday, Reuters reports.

“We are probing, so stay tuned. We ask: Would you like to talk? We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation,” Tillerson told a small group of reporters during a trip to China.

During his visit to Bejing, Tillerson met China’s top diplomats on Saturday to discuss efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and prepare President Donald Trump’s November visit, AFP reports.

Tillerson held talks with State Councillor Yang Jiechi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi at the Great Hall of the People at Tiananmen Square.

The visit comes as relations between the two sides appear to be improving after months of tensions over how to handle North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s nuclear provocations.

“Our two presidents have developed a very regular and close working relationship,” Tillerson told Yang.

“Let us concentrate on cooperation and properly manage our differences in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual benefit so that we can keep moving the China-U.S. relationship forward in the right direction,” Yang responded.

Trump has repeatedly urged his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping to exert more economic pressure on Pyongyang, in order to convince the regime to give up its nuclear ambitions. China, North Korea’s main trade partner, has responded by backing a slew of new United Nations sanctions, AFP adds.

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