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Rex Tillerson, Wang Yi
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, right, walks by China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi before a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. (AP Photo/Andy Wong, Pool)

Tillerson said the U.S. is in direct communication with North Korea



After meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told reporters Saturday the U.S. still does not accept North Korea as a nuclear power, but that they are in communication with the country about its nuclear program.

"We are probing, so stay tuned. We can talk to them, we do talk to them directly, through our own channels," Tillerson said.

The confirmation of communication between the U.S. and North Korea from Tillerson comes after Trump Tweeted last month, "The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!"

Tillerson also said told reporters that what is needed now between the countries is to "calm things down."

"Obviously it would help if North Korea would stop firing off missiles. That would caml things down a lot," he said.

The situation between the U.S. and North Korea continues to escalate, and China, typically one of North Korea's biggest allys, has even been punsihing North Korea through sanctions.

This past week the Chinese government said they would be cutting off gas and limiting shipments of refined petroleum products to North Korea by the start of 2018, and also ordered businesses owned by North Koreans with Chinese partners to close by that time as well.

These are just the latest sanctions by the Chinese against North Korea, since earlier this year they also banned imports of coal, Iron and lead ore, and seafood from North Korea.

The Associated Press Contributed to this report.

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