(SkyNews) The US is in “direct contact” with North Korea amid the nuclear stand-off between the two countries, secretary of state Rex Tillerson has said.

Mr Tillerson said “lines of communications” were being used and the US was “probing” the possibility of more formal talks with Pyongyang, adding: “Stay tuned.”

The statement is the first confirmation that backchannel discussions have been taking place as North Korea’s nuclear tests and a war of words between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have sparked fears of a military conflict.

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