Published On: Thu, Dec 7th, 2017

North Korea ready to talk DIRECTLY to US: Kim Jong-un 'wants security guarantees'


Sergey Lavrov, 67, told his United States counterpart Rex Tillerson, the US Secretary of State, during talks today that the reclusive communist regime wanted talks with the US on “security guarantees”.

The Russian news agency RIA claimed that the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wanted direct talks with the US to seek guarantees on their security from Washington.

Mr Lavrov and Mr Tillerson met today in Vienna for wide-ranging talks that not only covered North Korea but also Syria and the Ukraine.

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Ministerial Council in Vienna.

The Russian foreign ministry said in a statement: “The sides discussed further steps to put an end to the civil conflict in Syria via establishing a sustainable negotiating process involving all Syrian political forces, including within the Geneva process and in the format of the forthcoming National Dialogue Congress in Sochi, with concurrent completion of the defeat of international terrorist groups.

“The Russian and US top diplomats also expressed common opinion that North Korea must strictly abide by the United Nations Security Council resolutions.

“Touching on issues of the bilateral agenda, Lavrov pointed to the inadmissibility of pressure on Russian media and diplomats in the United States, including the US special services’ recruitment attempts.”

Meanwhile the US and South Korea continued to carry out large-scale combat drills today which involved two American B-1B heavy bombers amid warnings from North Korea that the exercises and Us threats have made the outbreak of war “an established fact.”

The annual US-South Korean “Vigilant Ace” exercises feature 230 aircraft, including some of the most advanced US stealth warplanes. They come a week after North Korea tested its most powerful intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) to date, which it says can reach all of the United States.

North Korea’s foreign ministry blamed the drills and “confrontational warmongering” by US officials for making war inevitable.

“The remaining question now is: when will the war break out?” it said in a statement carried by North Korea’s official KCNA news agency.

“We do not wish for a war but shall not hide from it.”

China, North Korea‘s neighbour and lone major ally, again urged calm and said war was not the answer, while Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said North Korea wanted direct talks with the United States to seek guarantees on its security, something Moscow was ready to facilitate.

“We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang said.

“The outbreak of war is not in any side’s interest. The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people.”

Mr Lavrov said, according to the Interfax news agency: ”We know that North Korea wants above all to talk to the United States about guarantees for its security. We are ready to support that, we are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations.”

Washington has said it remains open to talks if North Korea demonstrates it is serious about giving up its nuclear weapons, but that its recent activities showed it was not.

China’s Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Zheng Zeguang was to meet Matt Pottinger, the head of Asian affairs at the White House’s National Security Council, on Thursday to discuss North Korea and trade, a senior U.S. official said.

Tensions have risen markedly in recent months after repeated North Korean missile tests in defiance of UN sanctions and the detonation of what Pyongyang said was a hydrogen bomb on September 3.

North Korea’s latest missile test prompted a U.S. warning that North Korea’s leadership would be “utterly destroyed” if war were to break out.


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