BEYOND BLUSTER

Report: U.S. and North Korea in Regular Back-Channel Contact for Several Months

The Trump administration has been conducting back-channel diplomacy with North Korean leaders for several months, the Associated Press reported on Friday. Contact between the countries has continued since June, when the two sides had discussions to secure the release of American student Otto Warmbier. The discussions are reportedly ongoing regularly between Joseph Yun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea policy, and Pak Song Il, a senior North Korean diplomat at the country’s U.N. mission. So far, the conversations have done nothing to diminish rising tensions over North Korea’s nuclear weapons and missile advances, officials said.