North Korea says no negotiations over its nukes

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MANILA, Philippines (AP) Developments on Monday, August 7, about the diplomatic crisis over North Korea (all times Philippine Time).

  • 8:00 p.m.

North Korean’s top diplomat said “under no circumstances” would the country put its nuclear weapons or ballistic missiles on the negotiating table.

Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho also said his country had no intention of using nuclear weapons against any country “except the U.S.” He said the only way that would change is if another country joined in an American action against North Korea.

Ri was scheduled to hold a news conference in Manila, Philippines, where Asian diplomats were gathered for an Association of Southeast Asian Nations meeting. Instead, Ri’s spokesman handed reporters a copy of a speech Ri gave at the meeting.

In that speech, Ri said responsibility for the Korean Peninsula crisis lied solely with America’s government. He said the North was “ready to teach the U.S. a severe lesson with its nuclear strategic force.”

  • 3:20 p.m.

Armed with extraordinary new U.N. sanctions, nations raced to ensure that North Korea’s biggest trading partners would actually carry them out. That has been a sticking point in the past, and has undercut previous attempts to strong-arm North Korea’s government into abandoning its nuclear weapons.

President Donald Trump demanded full and speedy implementation of the new penalties. But his top diplomat also laid out a narrow path for the North to return to negotiations.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said if the North stops testing missiles for an “extended period,” the U.S. might deem North Korea ready to talk. But he said it wouldn’t be a matter of a mere 30-day pause leading to the U.S. being willing to talk.

“We’ll know it when we see it,” Tillerson said.

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