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Tillerson: U.S. Is Talking Directly to North Korea

Sept. 30, 2017 (EIRNS)—During a press briefing in Beijing, following meetings with Chinese officials, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson indicated that the U.S. government has two or three direct lines to Pyongyang. "We are probing, so stay tuned," Tillerson said. "We can talk to them, we do talk to them directly, through our own channels," saying that the United States has "a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang." According to Bloomberg News, the U.S. is testing Pyongyang’s appetite for negotiations.

One of the channels that Tillerson was referring to may have been the back-channel that U.S. Special Envoy Joseph Yun is conducting through the North Korean embassy at the United Nations in New York. Another could be what is called "Track 1.5," made up of former U.S. officials on the one side and North Korea diplomats on the other. UPI, citing Japan’s Asahi Shimbun as its source, reported on Sept. 28, that there would soon be a Track 1.5 meeting and that the former U.S. officials participating could include Robert Gallucci, a diplomatic troubleshooter during the Clinton Administration; Leon Sigal, a North Korea specialist; and former U.S. special envoy for North Korea Joseph DeTrani.