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North Korea knows that communication channels are "open" with the US, Secretary of State for Defence Rex Tillerson said.

"As for the global sanctions against North Korea, we would like to once again reiterate our commitment to their implementation", he said, adding however that such restrictions should not be "a goal in itself but rather an instrument of encouraging that country towards constructive talks on the current problems". He had said he was willing to start talks with Pyongyang without preconditions, which the White House refuted and said they were caught off guard by his offer.

Pyongyang has carried out its sixth nuclear test and conducted a series of missile launches including its first tests of two intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBM) this year.

"In the world we live in today where our greatest threats are non-state actors, we simply can not accept that", he said.

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.

"The past behavior of North Korea, it's clear to us that they would not just use the possession of nuclear weapons as a deterrent".

Referring to joint military drills the USA conducts with South Korea, Nebenzya said, "indeed this is how Pyongyang evaluates the regular wide-scale maneuvers and exercises by the United States and its allies in the region".

The collapse of agreements on the Iranian nuclear program will send a wrong signal to those who hope to solve the crisis over North Korea, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.

"He challenged Tillerson, questioning the United States commitment to finding a peaceful resolution". "The current situation on the peninsula is not caused by any one party alone and it's unfair to impose on any one partner the responsibility" for resolving it, said China's Deputy Permanent Representative to the United Nations Amb. In the face of such a threat, inaction is unacceptable for any nation. He showed willingness to sit down with the North "with no preconditions".

The secretary of state said that he had been engaging with China on how to secure the nuclear weapons if North Korea's government collapsed.

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


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