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Trump admin admits direct contact with North Korea





  • Rex Tillerson made the admission on Saturday during his trip to China
  • Tillerson was in China to discuss North Korea and lay the groundwork for President Donald Trump's visit in November
  • The Secretary of State said the US wants to resolve the conflict peacefully
  • China is seen as critical to averting a military confrontation with Pyongyang
  • Many believe China's goal is stability in the rogue nation as instability would send refugees into northeastern China
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has threatened the development of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching America 
  • Trump has declared multiple times he won't allow a missile to reach the US

By Reuters and Mary Kekatos For Dailymail.com

Published: 14:21 EDT, 30 September 2017 | Updated: 20:42 EDT, 30 September 2017

The Trump administration admitted for the first time that it is in direct contact with North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made the acknowledgment during a trip to China on Saturday, adding that Washington was 'probing' for potential dialogue with Pyongyang.

'We are probing, so stay tuned,' Tillerson told reporters.

'We ask: "Would you like to talk?" We have lines of communications to Pyongyang. We're not in a dark situation.

'We have a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them. Directly, through our own channels.'

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed on Saturday while on a trip to China (pictured) that the US is in direct contact with North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed on Saturday while on a trip to China (pictured) that the US is in direct contact with North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed on Saturday while on a trip to China (pictured) that the US is in direct contact with North Korea over its missile and nuclear tests

'We have a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them. Directly, through our own channels,' Tillerson said (Pictured, Kim Jong-un visits a farm in an undated photo)
'We have a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them. Directly, through our own channels,' Tillerson said (Pictured, Kim Jong-un visits a farm in an undated photo)

'We have a couple of direct channels to Pyongyang. We can talk to them. We do talk to them. Directly, through our own channels,' Tillerson said (Pictured, Kim Jong-un visits a farm in an undated photo)

Tillerson also said the Trump administration's goal is to resolve the issue with North Korea peacefully (Pictured, Trump on Friday)
Tillerson also said the Trump administration's goal is to resolve the issue with North Korea peacefully (Pictured, Trump on Friday)

Tillerson also said the Trump administration's goal is to resolve the issue with North Korea peacefully (Pictured, Trump on Friday)

Tillerson also said the administration's goal is to resolve the issue with North Korea peacefully.

'We've made it clear that we hope to resolve this through talks,' he said.

'I think the most immediate action that we need is to calm things down. They're a little overheated right now, and I think we need to calm them down first.' 

Tillerson was in Beijing for a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Foreign Minister Wang Yi to discuss North Korea and other issues, as well as to lay the groundwork for President Donald Trump's planned visit to China in early November.  

The US sees China as critical to averting a military confrontation with Pyongyang, which is fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching America - something Trump has declared he won't allow to happen.

US officials believe China's priority is stability on the Korean peninsula, because a political collapse would almost certainly push destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China (pictured, Kim visits a farm in an undated photo)
US officials believe China's priority is stability on the Korean peninsula, because a political collapse would almost certainly push destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China (pictured, Kim visits a farm in an undated photo)

US officials believe China's priority is stability on the Korean peninsula, because a political collapse would almost certainly push destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China (pictured, Kim visits a farm in an undated photo)

US officials say Beijing appears increasingly willing to cut ties to North Korea's economy by adopting UN sanctions, after long accounting for some 90 percent of its neighbor's foreign trade (Pictured, Kim delivers a speech on September 21)
US officials say Beijing appears increasingly willing to cut ties to North Korea's economy by adopting UN sanctions, after long accounting for some 90 percent of its neighbor's foreign trade (Pictured, Kim delivers a speech on September 21)

US officials say Beijing appears increasingly willing to cut ties to North Korea's economy by adopting UN sanctions, after long accounting for some 90 percent of its neighbor's foreign trade (Pictured, Kim delivers a speech on September 21)

Trump (pictured, Friday) has called on China to do more regarding North Korea and has promised to take steps to rebalance a trade relationship that his administration says puts US businesses at a disadvantage
Trump (pictured, Friday) has called on China to do more regarding North Korea and has promised to take steps to rebalance a trade relationship that his administration says puts US businesses at a disadvantage

Trump (pictured, Friday) has called on China to do more regarding North Korea and has promised to take steps to rebalance a trade relationship that his administration says puts US businesses at a disadvantage

US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say they believe China's priority is stability on the Korean peninsula, because a political collapse would almost certainly push destabilizing waves of refugees into northeastern China.

China has said it will strictly and fully enforce UN resolutions against North Korea and its Commerce Ministry on Thursday said North Korean firms in China and joint ventures in China and overseas would be shut down by January, in line with the latest UN resolution.

The officials also said Beijing appears increasingly willing to cut ties to North Korea's economy by adopting UN sanctions, after long accounting for some 90 percent of its neighbor's foreign trade.

Tillerson (left) met with many officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) to discuss North Korea and other issues
Tillerson (left) met with many officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) to discuss North Korea and other issues

Tillerson (left) met with many officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi (right) to discuss North Korea and other issues

Tillerson was also visiting to lay the groundwork for President Trump's planned visit to China in early November (Pictured, Tillerson, left, shakes hands with China's President Xi Jingping)
Tillerson was also visiting to lay the groundwork for President Trump's planned visit to China in early November (Pictured, Tillerson, left, shakes hands with China's President Xi Jingping)

Tillerson was also visiting to lay the groundwork for President Trump's planned visit to China in early November (Pictured, Tillerson, left, shakes hands with China's President Xi Jingping)

In opening remarks at his meeting with Xi (right), Tillerson (left) said relations between the sides continue to 'grow and mature on the strength of the relationship between yourself and President Trump'
In opening remarks at his meeting with Xi (right), Tillerson (left) said relations between the sides continue to 'grow and mature on the strength of the relationship between yourself and President Trump'

In opening remarks at his meeting with Xi (right), Tillerson (left) said relations between the sides continue to 'grow and mature on the strength of the relationship between yourself and President Trump'

Trump has called on China do more regarding North Korea and has promised to take steps to rebalance a trade relationship that his administration says puts U.S. businesses at a disadvantage.

In opening remarks at his meeting with Xi, Tillerson said relations between the sides continue to 'grow and mature on the strength of the relationship between yourself and President Trump.'

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


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Trump admin admits direct contact with North Korea
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