Back channel could defuse North Korea crisis

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"Since the early 1990s we've used the NY channel as a way of communicating with Pyongyang because we don't have diplomatic relations with North Koreans", said Joel Wit, a former State Department employee and the founder of 38 North, a website for expert analysis on North Korea.

Secret back-channel communications between the USA and North Korea could be a "good sign" that could pave the way to a peaceful end to a crisis filled on both sides with fiery doomsday rhetoric, a former defense secretary told the Herald.

"We've had back-channel communication for decades". "It's a good sign" that communication still takes place, he said.

Even as President Donald Trump says the USA military is "locked and loaded" to potentially unleash "fire and fury" on North Korea, the two feuding countries have been holding secretive, back-channel talks, The Associated Press reported Friday.

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Trump retweeted news coverage about his heated rhetoric Wednesday. "President Trump has basically drawn a red line". The lawmakers noted that they wrote to Trump in late May raising similar concerns but had not received a response.

Perry said that arrangement could ease tensions that have only heightened this week after both President Trump and dictator Kim Jong Un touted their military strength.

However, despite the rhetorical similarities between the "rain of ruin" and the "fire and fury", presidential historians like Michael Beschloss say Trump's language has been unusually harsh considering the context, noting that President John F. Kennedy's statements during the Cuban Missile Crisis were more muted and that President Dwight D. Eisenhower made a point of not matching the provocative tone of Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. But it wasn't known until now that the contacts have continued or that the talks broached matters other than US detainees.

The back channels have done nothing to ease the nuclear fears, the AP reported.

"Well, we don't want to talk about progress, we don't want to talk about back channels", the president said.

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The ongoing talks have included discussions about U.S.

USA officials and others familiar with the exchanges say they're occurring between the US envoy for North Korea policy and a senior North Korean diplomat at the country's United Nations mission.

According to a Rasmussen poll, 96 percent of hardcore Trump supporters are in favor of nuclear war, although some worry about the prospect of a race of apes evolving from humans.

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