State Dept: North Korea has shown no interest in talks on nuclear threat


State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Saturday that North Korea’s regime has shown no interest in negotiations related to its nuclear program after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that the U.S. has several backchannels with the country.

“U.S. diplomats have several open channels in which we can communicate with officials within the North Korean regime,” Nauert said Saturday.

“Despite assurances that the United States is not interested in promoting the collapse of the current regime, pursuing regime change, accelerating reunification of the peninsula or mobilizing forces north of the DMZ, North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization,” she added.

Tillerson said earlier Saturday that the U.S. was in direct contact with around three North Korean officials, despite no official diplomatic relations between the countries.{mosads}

“We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we’re not in a dark situation, a blackout. We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” Tillerson said Saturday.

The comments from Tillerson and Nauert come days after President Trump threatened on the floor of the United Nations earlier this month to devastate North Korea, and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-Un responded with a scathing attack on Trump, calling him a “mentally deranged dotard.”

Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea escalated earlier this month when North Korea launched an ICBM that flew over Japan and landed in the Pacific Ocean during the country’s sixth missile test.


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