Tillerson Tackles North Korea Strategy In '60 Minutes' Interview

US Vice President Mike Pence | AP

In a compelling interview with CBS show 60 Minutes, Mr Tillerson admitted the United States is anxious about North Korea's nuclear capabilities, adding: "It does make us nervous".

David Curry of Open Doors USA says there is a reason North Korea is ranked number on the World Watch List as the worst country to be a Christian, which is no small feat in a world of dictators and despots.

"I am listening. I am not sending a lot of messages back because there's nothing to say to them at this point".

In 2010, the losing North Korea World Cup team reportedly endured a six-hour "grand debate" in which they were criticized for their "betrayal of the trust of Kim Jong Un", South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo reported.

In a separate KCNA commentary, the North assailed the US and President Donald Trump for hinting at the possibility of military action to rein in Pyongyang's nuclear ambitions.

"The general consensus on the need for dialogue between the USA and North Korea is gradually increasing", he said.

Shin Jong-woo, a researcher at the Korea Defense and Security Forum, a think tank, said: "Even though the joint military drills can be a hurdle for inter-Korean reconciliation, I believe they are necessary".

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Moon's diplomatic efforts are aimed at finding a way to get Pyongyang and Washington in direct talks, despite these opposing stances.

North Korea is "fully ready for both dialogue and war" and prepared to respond to any USA "provocation by prompt counterstrike", state-run media said Monday as the Winter Olympics continued in South Korea. "If the USA and Japan had boycotted the Games, it might have given the impression that North Korea had hijacked global sports, and they did not want that to happen".

The North is subject to multiple sets of UN Security Council sanctions over its banned nuclear and ballistic missile programmes and conducted dozens of weapons test a year ago.

He said: "We receive messages from them and I think it will be very explicit as to how we want to have that first conversation".

China looks set to be angered by the move in addition to the North, having already expressed concerns about drones as well as South Korea's deployment of a THAAD missile defense battery previous year. "You can see why the risk associated with a military strike could be regarded as more acceptable from Japan's perspective than it would be regarded by the South Koreans", said Mr. Nilsson-Wright.

A former member of North Korea's so-called "Army of Beauties" cheerleading squad that performed on the sidelines at the Pyeongchang Olympics said the group is used as a form of propaganda. "The Korea-U.S. military authorities are in negotiations on resuming the military exercises", he said.

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