US says still interested in dialogue with North Korea

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WASHINGTON (AP) Developments on Tuesday, August 15, the North Korea crisis (all times Eastern ).

  • 11:05 a.m.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the Trump administration remains interested in a dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jung Un but waited for some sign of interest from the North Korean government.

“We continue to be interested in trying to find a way to get to dialogue but that’s up to him,” said Tillerson.

Speaking to reporters at the State Department, Tillerson said he had no comment on North Korea’s latest pronouncement that it had completed plans to test ballistic missiles near the U.S. Pacific territory of Guam but would not immediately carry it out.

  • 5:00 a.m.

North Korea said the issue of Americans detained in the country “is not an object to discuss” in view of current tensions with the United States.

A short dispatch from state news agency KCNA said that a foreign ministry spokesman made the statement in response to foreign media reports that talks are ongoing. It did not identify which media.

The Associated Press reported last week that a U.S. envoy and his North Korean counterpart have discussed three other Americans being held in North Korea.

Another American, college student Otto Warmbier, was released in June in a coma and died shortly after his arrival in the United States.

A Canadian pastor who was imprisoned for more than two years was released last week.

  • 3:30 a.m.

Guam officials took the latest missive from North Korea as a sign that the rhetoric is calming down.

Lt. Gov. Ray Tenorio told the media that North Korea appears to be holding off on an imminent launch of missiles into waters near the U.S. territory in the Pacific.

North Korea’s state news agency KCNA reported earlier in the day that leader Kim Jong Un had examined plans for a launch. It quoted Kim as saying he would watch what he called the “foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” a little more before deciding whether to order a test.

Tenorio said “we’re happy that he has taken a look at their plans” and appears to be holding off on a launch.

He added that there was no change in Guam’s threat assessment, and that the island is operating as usual.

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