U.S. has been conducting back-channel talks with North Korea for months

In the course of trying to structure the narrative around soaring tensions with North Korea, the Trump Administration has made major efforts to play up North Korea as an imminent threat, and the possibility that North Korea might attack as a realistic possibility.

The Associated Press reports that Yun is the only US diplomat in contact with representatives of the North Korean government.

"President Donald Trump says his critics are only complaining about his tough rhetoric on North Korea "because it's me". "We have other means of communication open to them, to certainly hear from them if they have a desire to want to talk", Tillerson said at an Asian security meeting in the Philippines this week, adding that negotiations would be welcomed on the condition that North Korea stops testing missiles that could potentially reach the USA mainland-a major concern, given that North Korea has significantly advanced its weapons program since the last serious negotiations with the U.S. Earlier in the week, he had threatened to unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea. Even if there were, the experts note it would need to be proportional, which doesn't exactly fit with U.S. officials threatening the "destruction" of not only North Korea, but its population. North Korea issues threats all the time and has been doing so for decades.

Trump later publicly signalled his interest in talks, saying in May that he would be "honored" to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un "under the right circumstances" to defuse tensions over North Korea's nuclear program. "I do not want the Earth to blow up", the Late Show host said.

On Friday, he tweeted: "Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely".

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Mr Trump agrees, saying "They should have had me in years ago. frankly you could have said that for the last three presidents". The mayor of Guam recorded the candid, 3-minute phone conversation with Trump and posted it to his Facebook page .

After a deep freeze between North Korea and the Obama administration, contacts between Pyongyang and the United States picked up again after Trump took office.

Trump said that past administrations had not done enough to take on North Korea and that it is time a President "stuck up for the country".

The State Department did not immediately comment on Mr Yun's diplomacy.

And yet, realistically, most analysts agree that if a war does happen, it would be the U.S. attacking North Korea, and not the other way around.

There, Yun learned about the health condition of Otto Warmbier, the young American who had gone to North Korea on a short trip, only to be arrested for allegedly stealing a poster.

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