Trump says Russian Federation "not helping" with North Korea

North Korean Ambassador to the United Nations Ja Song Nam speaks during a high level Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea Friday Dec. 15 2017 at United Nations headquarters

This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on October 29, 2017 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (C) inspecting the Pyongyang Cosmetics Factory. "We would like to have Russia's help", he told reporters outside the White House.

"If that unleashed some kind of instability, the most important thing for us to do would be securing those nuclear weapons they've already developed and ensuring that they - that nothing falls into the hands of people who we would not want to have it", Tillerson said in a wide-ranging speech at an event hosted by the Atlantic Council.

"We do not accept any relaxing of the sanctions regime as a precondition of talks", he said.

He appeared to change course Friday, saying any talks must be preceded by a "sustained cessation of North Korea's threatening behavior".

Tuesday, Tillerson had said he was willing to start talks with North Korea without preconditions.

Washington will use all necessary means to defend itself against North Korea aggression, he said, but it also hopes to resolve the issue through diplomacy.

The chief United States negotiator for North Korea said yesterday that the USA should engage in direct diplomacy with Pyongyang alongside sanctions imposed over its nuclear programme.

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Tillerson said his main concern is North Korean nuclear weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors.

The top United States diplomat, who met Thursday with Trump and Defense Secretary James Mattis, urged countries in the room to do more than just meet the letter of UN Security Council resolutions sanctioning North Korea - and called out Moscow and Beijing in particular.

After North Korea's ambassador Ja Song Nam addressed the council and described his country's nuclear program as an "inevitable self-defense measure" against the United States, which was "terrified by the incredible might of our republic" and its "nuclear force", Tillerson asked for another chance to speak and hit back.

China's ambassador echoed Russia's rebukes. "The DPRK remains the only country to continue to break the norm against nuclear testing", Guterres noted.

China and Russian Federation argue that sanctions alone will not compel North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un to change course and want to step up diplomatic efforts to achieve a solution.

South Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Cho Hyun told the council that North Korea is "in the final stages of nuclear weaponization" and warned that if it can put a nuclear warhead on an intercontinental ballistic missile "it will fundamentally alter the security landscape in the region and beyond".

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