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Tillerson Calls For Continued Sanctions Pressure On North Korea


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (file photo)

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has called for continued sanctions pressure on North Korea to force it to abandon its nuclear weapons program.

Tillerson issued the appeal at a 20-nation meeting on North Korea in Vancouver on January 16.

"We must increase the costs of the regime’s behavior to the point that North Korea must come to the table for credible negotiations," Tillerson told the one-day meeting in the Pacific Canadian city.

Tillerson also urged China and Russia, which are not taking part in the meeting, to fully implement UN sanctions.

He also said that North Korean missile tests pose a threat to civilian air traffic.

Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono told the meeting that the world should not be fooled by Pyongyang’s "charm offensive" in engaging in talks with South Korea ahead of next month's Winter Olympics.

But South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said those talks were a "significant first step toward restoring inter-Korean relations."

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has refused to give up development of nuclear missiles in spite of increasingly severe sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.

Based on reporting by AP and Reuters
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