World Bulletin / News Desk
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Monday it was "too early" to discuss direct negotiations with North Korea, after Vice President Mike Pence said the US was open to talks.
He said the United States and its allies would impose "steep and escalating costs" on Pyongyang until it takes "clear steps toward denuclearisation".
But he said the White House was willing to "sit down and talk with the regime while that pressure campaign is ongoing".
"If you want to talk, we'll talk," the paper quoted him as saying.
Asked about the article during a visit to Egypt, Tillerson said: "I think it's too early to judge."
"We've said for some time it's really up to the North Koreans to decide when they're ready to engage with us in a sincere way, a meaningful way," he said.
"They know what has to be on the table for conversations."
He said it was important first "to determine whether the parties are in fact ready to engage in something that's meaningful."
President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un have exchanged a series of personal insults.
Pence's comments come at a time of reconciliation between the two Koreas, which are still technically at war.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has used the Winter Olympics hosted by South Korea to unleash a diplomatic charm offensive.
But Pence, speaking to reporters on Saturday, stressed "the need to continue to isolate North Korea economically and diplomatically until they abandon their nuclear and ballistic missile program."
The government of the economically-ravaged country has for many years heavily subsidized petrol and Maduro says this has now led to a voracious black market in oil smuggled to neighbouring countries.
Iraqi premier will meet Turkish President Erdogan during the visit
US to strengthen military 'like never ever before,' Trump says of $716B bill
Some 69 children were among those arrested by Israel last month
The militant was convicted of killing a number of police and army personnel in Nineveh province
If US officials confirm "the offer for the FBI to investigate links in Florida with the assassination plan... I would agree for the FBI to come here," Maduro said at an event with top military leaders late on Saturday.
Move comes after US re-imposed first round of economic sanctions on Iran, targeting country’s banking sector
Move comes few days after Pakistan, Russia signed agreement for military officers’ training
More than 160 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire in Gaza since March
Clothing retailer’s advertising campaign on YouTube receives more than 1 million hits
Officer Mike Moore tells group of African Americans 'you don’t belong in my city'
‘Terrorists’ attempted to infiltrate Iraqi territory from Syria, Defense Ministry says
US President Donald Trump said Friday he had doubled steel and aluminum tariffs on Turkey, adding to pressure on that nation's troubled economy amid a diplomatic row with Washington.
Fredericton police in eastern Canada calls on public to stay in their homes with doors locked for safety
Italian Foreign Ministry called on all parties to respect cease-fire