Free Press Journal

US, North Korea maintaining back channel diplomatic talks


North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, impersonated by Hong Kong actor Howard (L), and US President Donald Trump, impersonated by US actor Dennis, pose outside the US consulate in Hong Kong on January 25, 2017. US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un might never be best buddies, but convincing impersonators are giving Hong Kongers a glimpse of what their improbable friendship might look like. Describing themselves as political satirists, the pair hugged and pretended to kiss as they posed for photos outside the US consulate on January 25. / AFP PHOTO / Anthony WALLACE

New York: Apart from issuing threats to North Korea, United States President Donald Trump’s administration has been maintaining direct back-channel diplomatic talks with North Korean regime to defuse the tensions over Pyongyang’s missile tests and nuclear program. Diplomats from each country, including U.S. envoy to North Korea Joseph Yun and North Korean diplomat Pak Song Il are maintaining a relationship with each other in New York, fostered as well by outside groups that favor direct engagement.

U.S. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has insisted that diplomatic efforts to contain the threat posed by North Korea are working and the favoured means for resolve the crisis. Mattis praised the diplomatic leadership of Tillerson and US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley, as well as a unanimous vote by the UN Security Council to impose fresh sanctions on North Korea. The diplomats initiated negotiation during the release of imprisone student Otto Warmbier and it was revealed that diplomatic talks are on since then. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson praised Yun directly during a recent discussion of U.S. efforts to handle the crisis.

“We’re trying to convey to the North Koreans we are not your enemy, we are not your threat, but you are presenting an unacceptable threat to us, and we have to respond,” he said last week. “I’m quite proud of what we’ve accomplished. In dealing with North Korea, Acting Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton and Ambassador Joseph Yun have been stellar in helping us develop these policies and carry them out,”Washington examiner quoted Tillerson as saying.

The tensions between U.S. and North Korea escalated after Pyongyang tested an intercontinental ballistic missile in July that appears to have the range to hit major US cities. The move was condemned by United States, South Korea and Japan.