Mattis: North Korean ballistic missile doesn't pose immediate threat to US

United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the United States would not accept any.

Japan believes that it is necessary for the country to secure a seat on the Security Council in order to play a leading role in dealing with North Korea's nuclear and missile development programs, and other challenges facing the worldwide community.

In October, the president said Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to kickstart diplomacy with North Korea.

The White House had responded to Tillerson's remarks by insisting there had been no change in United States policy, triggering a new round of reports of a rift between Trump and his chief diplomat.

Tillerson did double down on the administration's tough talk, even as other countries warned that U.S. rhetoric and actions are part of the problem.

The US has already emphasized its willingness to resolve the conflicting issues with North Korea and will continue to push for talks to end the weapons testing. He said it was imperative to open lines of communication.

Tillerson rejected the argument that the United States bore any blame and made clear that there would be no let-up in his campaign to squeeze North Korea and steadily choke off its diplomatic channels and means of financial support.

A small number of humanitarian agencies based in the United States and elsewhere provide food, medical and agricultural assistance from bases outside the country. "They know where to walk through that door when they want to talk", he said.

North Korea, which in the past has boycotted nearly all Security Council meetings where its nuclear program is discussed, is expected to speak during Friday's open session.


Tillerson called on the two world powers with the closest economic ties to North Korea to increase pressure over the pariah nation's nuclear and missile programs, and go beyond full implementation of U.N. sanctions.

Tillerson extended that challenge to other countries that have been slow to fully implement existing resolutions on North Korea, saying that it calls "into question whether your vote is a commitment to words only, but not actions".

But the top diplomat appeared to soften his stance earlier this week, saying Washington was ready to negotiate with the North without preconditions, following a "period of calm".

The sanctions are estimated to decrease North Korea's export revenue by $2.3 billion.

Tillerson said North Korea must be "held accountable" for illegal detonation of nuclear devices and launching intercontinental ballistic missiles.

In Washington, Trump criticized Russian Federation for doing too little to pressure Pyongyang.

"We'd like to have Russia's help - very important", said Trump. "We would like to have Russia's help", said Trump, who discussed the crisis by phone with President Vladimir Putin on Thursday.

He said that with crude oil still flowing into North Korean refineries, the USA also questions China's commitment to "solving an issue that has serious implications for the security of its own citizens".

Rising tensions between the USA and North Korea, which conducted its largest nuclear test in September and fired off a powerful ICBM in late November, have raised deep concern worldwide. Addressing the council, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres urged diplomatic engagement to avoid a "level of danger that would be unpredictable in its trajectory and catastrophic in its consequences". His prepared remarks had suggested only that North Korea would have to undertake a sustained halt in its threatening behavior before talks could begin. He is determined to add his country to the roster of nuclear-armed nations, if only for protection.


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