Negotiating with North Korea 'waste of time'

Cho Myoung Gyon

United States President, Donald Trump, said negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear program would be a waste of time on Sunday after it emerged that Washington had channels of contact with Pyongyang.

Specifically, Trump again referred to Kim as "Little Rocket Man", and suggested that the United States―and in particular Secretary of State Rex Tillerson―was wasting time trying to negotiate with the 33-year-old dictator.

However Rear Admiral Dalton reported no trouble with the Chinese during the drill on Saturday, adding that "we see them on a regular basis".

Still others saw Trump's words as an attempt to give Tillerson diplomatic cover and potentially strengthen his hand in persuading North Korea to come to the table by declaring the effort a "waste of time" that the US could abandon at any time in favor of tightening sanctions even further or a military response.

"We have a couple. three channels open to Pyongyang".

"I think the whole situation's a bit overheated right now", Tillerson said.

Tillerson and Defense Secretary James Mattis have said the goal on North Korea is to reach a diplomatic solution between the countries, and after the pair briefed members of Congress in closed-door meetings in September, some Democrats noted the difference between their assessments and the President's words.

North Korea's main economic partner China has signed up to the sanctions, including restrictions on imports, as has Russian Federation. That's a reference to leader Kim Jong Un.

"I don't think we're cornering ourselves".

"At present it's an impasse, neither the United States nor North Korea dares to initiate a war despite fierce rhetoric", he said.

It's not unusual for Trump to undercut his own officials on Twitter, but this was extreme even by his standards. Kim responded by calling Trump a "mentally deranged dotard".

President Trump signaled Sunday that he does not believe that attempts at direct communications with North Korea are worth the effort despite escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.

The US leader has pressed for sterner measures against the North by China, the North's chief trading partner and source of aid and diplomatic support.

U.S. -North Korean communications are long-standing. Via Twiter, Mr Trump told Mr Tillerson he was wasting his energy.

North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency issued a statement saying: "The colossal amount of damage caused by these sanctions to the development of our state and the people's livelihood is beyond anyone's calculation". Early last month, North Korea tested what it claims to have been a hydrogen bomb underground - it's sixth nuclear test and first since Trump took office. Trump is also looking to reduce China's massive trade surplus with the US - $347 billion past year - and what American companies say are unfair barriers to investment, including pressure to hand over their technology.

Trump and Xi met in April at Trump's estate in Florida.

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