UN's Guterres warns against 'sleepwalking' into war with North Korea

UN's Guterres warns against 'sleepwalking' into war with North Korea

UN's Guterres warns against 'sleepwalking' into war with North Korea

The White House said yesterday that no negotiations could be held with North Korea until it improves its behaviour. "In diplomacy, it is hard to measure the immediate result of any initiatives", he said.

When asked if he had an intention of visiting Pyongyang himself, Guterres answered, "I'm ready to go anywhere at any time where it is useful".

North Korea regularly accuses South Korea of abducting or enticing its citizens to defect, although Seoul denies it. Guterres did not say whether he had received an invitation to Pyongyang via Feltman.

Yuzuru Yachita, president of a Tokyo-based company, and two others are suspected of shipping around 1,500 boxes of food and other items, worth around 7.16 million yen ($63,500) to North Korea via a Singapore firm, breaching the foreign exchange and foreign trade law, the police said.

"We are available, but we can only mediate when both parties accept our mediation".

Regarding the risk of a preemptive attack by the US, he said, "I never comment on things that have not happened, because they might only help things to happen".

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United Nations chief Antonio Guterres Thursday warned the world against "sleepwalking into war" over North Korea, as he called for diplomatic efforts to banish nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula.

Guterres made the comments to reporters after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo just days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions.

"The worst possible thing that could happen is for us all to sleepwalk into a war that might have very dramatic circumstances", Reuters cited the secretary-general as saying.

Guterres, who met with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe today in Tokyo, also says North Korea must be denuclearized for peace and stability in the region.

North Korea appears to have little interest in negotiations with the United States until it has developed the ability to hit the U.S. mainland with a nuclear-tipped missile, something most experts say it has still not proved.

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