Can't accept preconditions for talks with North Korea: Rex Tillerson

US Defense Secretary Mattis says N. Korea's missiles cannot reach US yet

US Defense Secretary Mattis says N. Korea's missiles cannot reach US yet

Tillerson set off speculation that Washington was seeking a diplomatic opening for negotiations with North Korea when he offered this week to hold talks "without preconditions".

Speaking at a UNSC Ministerial Briefing on Non-Proliferation and North Korea on Friday, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said North Korea's threats against the world are increasing and the global community must step up pressure.

Shortly after the November test, Mattis said the missile flew higher than any previous North Korean test, and that it represented a continued effort to build a missile capable of threatening the US.

Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear test in September and has conducted 20 missile launches including its first tests of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM).

"There is but one party that has been targeted with punishment and penalties through the most vigorous regime sanction ever enacted, and that is the Kim [Jong Un] regime in North Korea".

Earlier this week, Tillerson said that while the United States can not tolerate a nuclear-armed regime, it is unrealistic to expect the regime to dismantle its nuclear program before holding talks. But while the USA and Japan urged more pressure to induce the North to sit for talks, China and Russian Federation warned against unilateral military action by the U.S.

At the time of the launch, Mattis said it showed that North Korea was working on a research and development program that could produce a missile capable of hitting "everywhere in the world". "The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved". "We will, in the meantime, keep our channels of communication open".

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