The Latest: Tillerson backtracks on NKorea stance

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a meeting with Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono before a high level Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono, left, meets American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before a high level Security Council meeting on North Korea, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017, at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
American Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, left, greets South Korean Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs Cho Hyun before the start of a high level Security Council meeting on the situation in North Korea, Friday, Dec. 15, 2017 at United Nations headquarters. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)

WASHINGTON — The Latest on Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's comments on North Korea (all times local):

11:05 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has backtracked from an early offer of unconditional talks with North Korea.

Tillerson told the U.N. Security Council on Friday that "North Korea must earn its way back to the table."

Tillerson floated the idea of talks without preconditions earlier in the week during a "period of quiet" in North Korean weapons tests. He was quickly contradicted by the White House.

Tillerson said Friday that diplomatic discussions must be preceded by a "sustained cessation" of the North's threatening behavior.

He said the campaign of economic and diplomatic pressure on North Korea "must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved."

Tillerson added: "We will in the meantime keep our channels of communication open."

___

11 a.m.

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is offering his "good offices" so that North Korea's "alarming" and accelerating nuclear and missile program does not accidentally escalate into conflict.

The U.N. chief warned at a ministerial meeting of the U.N. Security Council on Friday that "the risk is being multiplied by misplaced over-confidence, dangerous narratives and rhetoric, and the lack of communication channels."

Guterres urged an immediate re-establishment and strengthening of communication, saying it was "critical to lower the risk of miscalculation or misunderstanding and reduce tensions in the region."

North Korea, which in the past has boycotted almost all Security Council meetings where its nuclear program is discussed, is expected to speak during Friday's open session.

___

10:52 a.m.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is criticizing China over its oil supplies to North Korea and Russia for using North Korean laborers.

Tillerson called on the two world powers with the closest economic ties to North Korea to increase pressure over the pariah nation's nuclear and missile programs, and go beyond full implementation of U.N. sanctions.

Tillerson said that continuing to allow North Korean laborers to toil in "slave-like conditions" for wages used to fund nuclear weapons "calls into question Russia's dedication as a partner for peace."

He said that with crude oil still flowing into North Korean refineries, the U.S. also questions China's commitment to "solving an issue that has serious implications for the security of its own citizens."

Tillerson was addressing the U.N. Security Council Friday.

Must Read

Trump ignites new firestorm: Gun backers might stop Clinton

Aug 10, 2016

Donald Trump sets off a fresh political firestorm by suggesting gun rights supporters might find a way to stop Hillary Clinton if she's elected and nominates anti-gun Supreme Court justices

Valeant's rosy forecast and promised changes, fire up shares

Aug 9, 2016

Drugmaker Valeant posts big 2Q loss, but execs tout turn-around plan and reassured investors drive up shares

Egypt house speaker wants illegal currency dealers executed

Aug 10, 2016

Egypt's flagship state newspaper is quoting the country's parliament speaker as saying illegal currency dealers should be executed

People also read these

If Trump can't get along with GOP, how will he govern?

Aug 9, 2016

Beyond the political fallout from Donald Trump's rocky relationship with party elders lies a fundamental reality: Should he win the presidency, the brash billionaire will have to work closely with the same GOP leaders he vilified on the campaign trail

RNC hires strategists to help woo African-American voters

Aug 9, 2016

The Republican National Committee has hired three new strategists to help increase its outreach to black voters, including Ashley D. Bell as its new senior strategist and national director of African-American engagement

Egypt house speaker wants illegal currency dealers executed

Aug 10, 2016

Egypt's flagship state newspaper is quoting the country's parliament speaker as saying illegal currency dealers should be executed

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH