USA in direct communication with North Korea - Rex Tillerson

USA in direct communication with North Korea - Rex Tillerson”

President Donald Trump on Sunday again mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson should not bother trying to negotiate with him in an effort to stop the country's development of nuclear weapons.

Trump said it would be a waste of time trying to negotiate with North Korea over its nuclear program.

As NPR's Bill Chappell noted last week, the brinksmanship has even taken on an increasingly personal tone of late, with Trump labeling Kim "rocket man" and Kim in turn opting to slap Trump with the more ornate "mentally deranged US dotard".

He added: "We look forward to advancing that relationship at the upcoming summit".

Since President Donald Trump took office in January, the USA has restored a diplomatic back-channel between the State Department and North Korea's mission at the United Nations. "We're not in a dark situation, a blackout, we have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang", he said.

Trump's tweets undermining his secretary of state follow his attacks Saturday on San Juan's mayor over the Puerto Rico hurricane crisis and come a day after Tillerson said the USA had direct lines of communication with North Korea and that he was trying to "calm things down" following months of escalating rhetoric over Pyongyang's continued nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. "I think everyone would like for it to calm down".

After oil sanctions, North Korea's leaders have hinted that more ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests will take place.

Later Sunday afternoon, Trump added: "Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now?" That's a stance that runs counter to what others in the U.S. administration - including Mr Trump - have said.

Tillerson's remarks followed a day of meetings in Beijing, which has become increasingly more concerned with the war of words taking place between the U.S. and the North.

The disclosure that the U.S. had direct channels to North Korea underscored Mr Tillerson's role as a moderate within the administration. China made no mention of crude oil, which makes up the bulk of Chinese energy supplies to North Korea and is not covered by United Nations sanctions.

China argues that sanctions alone can not solve the impasse, and has urged Washington to cool its rhetoric and open a dialogue with North Korea.

Gabriel also urged the United States to have dialogue with Iran over a nuclear accord which Trump appears on the verge of scrapping, adding that such a move "would undermine the credibility of the offer to North Korea".

None of them mentioned North Korea in their public remarks before reporters were ushered out, but the topic was expected to be on the agenda.

Trump and Xi met in April at Trump's estate in Florida.

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