Manila, Aug 7 (IANS) US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday urged North Korea to put a stop to its missile tests and return to the negotiating table at a time of maximum international pressure.
“The best signal that North Korea could give us that they’re prepared to talk would be to stop these missile launches,” Tillerson said here. He is participating with 26 other foreign ministers in the the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) meeting.
This is the first time that Tillerson has mentioned any concrete step in relation to Pyongyang in order to start multilateral negotiations on the increasingly advanced North Korean nuclear weapons and missile programme.
Tillerson, who did not specify how much time North Korea has to put an end to its missile tests, said that the US has other channels of communication to establish contact with the Kim Jong-un regime.
Tillerson on Sunday met Foreign Ministers Wang Yi from China and Sergey Lavrov of Russia, and said that they both reiterated their support for the sanctions imposed by the UN Security Council on North Korea.
After a month of negotiations, the 15 member-countries of the UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously adopted a resolution to veto North Korean exports of coal, iron, lead and shellfish, as well as other measures against companies and entities that support the country’s weapons programmes.
North Korea’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-ho is also participating in the Asean meeting in Manila where he plans to attend a regional security forum later on Monday.
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