Published: Thu, August 24, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Tillerson says talks with North Korea may be 'in the near future'

Tillerson says talks with North Korea may be 'in the near future'

Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters Wednesday that China opposes unilateral sanctions and "the long-arm jurisdiction taken" by the U.S.

The military leaders unanimously reconfirmed the U.S. defense commitment to South Korea during the press conference, with Strategic Command chief Gen. John Hyten promising that the United States would deploy all strategic assets to the Korean Peninsula to deter a North Korean provocation.

Among those sanctioned are six Chinese companies, including three coal companies, and two Singapore-based companies that sell oil to North Korea and three Russians that work with them.

They spoke hours after North Korea's military issued its standard fiery threats, vowing "merciless retaliation" for exercises Pyongyang claims are an invasion rehearsal.

The new U.S. sanctions took aim at a half-dozen Chinese companies, including three - Dandong Zhicheng Metallic Materials Co Ltd, JinHou International Holding Co Ltd and Dandong Tianfu Trade Co Ltd - that Washington said had collectively imported almost a half billion dollars' worth of North Korean coal between 2013 and 2016.

Speaking to the media in Washington, he said that North Korea had "demonstrated some level of restraint that we have not seen in the past" by not conducting missile launches since the latest round of United Nations sanctions.

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North Korea was responding to the start Monday of the computer-simulation command post exercise, which involves tens of thousands of US and South Korean troops and comes after the North successfully tested two intercontinental ballistic missiles last month.

"We hope that this is the beginning of the signal we've been looking for", he said, adding that "perhaps we're seeing our pathway to sometime in the near future of having some dialogue".

But he later expressed frustration with North Korea's key ally China, saying the United States would use the tools at its disposal to increase pressure on the North. He did, however, insist the USA "need to see more on their part" before talks were possible. -South Korean military exercise incorporated civilian drills that saw traffic come to a halt and people seek shelter.

Also taking part, Harris reaffirmed the US commitment to allies South Korea and Japan, and spoke of the importance of "a strong diplomatic effort, backed by a strong military effort". It's evident that this action is attempting to preserve the conciliatory atmosphere that has formed following the "war of words" between North Korea and the US.

North Korea conducted two ICBM tests last month, which resulted in fresh sanctions, as well as dozens of other missile tests and two nuclear tests since the start of 2016.

US President Donald Trump said Tuesday his aggressive rhetoric towards North Korea is bearing fruit and that Kim Jong-Un has started to "respect" the United States.

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