In a press conference Friday afternoon, the president raised the specter of using military force not just against North Korea but also Venezuela: "We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option, if necessary", Trump said.
France is a member of the Security Council, which approved fresh sanctions on North Korea this month for its recent intercontinental ballistic missile testing. It's unclear what effect they may have on the back-channel contacts being maintained by Yun.
Officials call it the "New York channel".
Officials have told CNN that they hoped this diplomatic channel would lead to more fulsome dialogue. "We have other means of communication open to them, to certainly hear from them if they have a desire to want to talk", Tillerson said at an Asian security meeting in the Philippines this week, adding that negotiations would be welcomed on the condition that North Korea stops testing missiles that could potentially reach the USA mainland-a major concern, given that North Korea has significantly advanced its weapons program since the last serious negotiations with the U.S. This grim possibility necessarily comes with a question: can the U.S., having attacked North Korea and started a calamitous war, claim it was done in "self defense"? Mr Yun is the only U.S. diplomat in contact with any North Korean counterpart. He wouldn't address specifics, but said, "The North Koreans know how to reach us".
Pushes for diplomacy have fallen on deaf ears, with Trump Administration officials insisting North Korea only understands threats and violence.
And at a lower level, there have also been various "track two" talks about improving relations between the USA and North Korea.
Trump tweeted Friday that United States military solutions on North Korea are "locked and loaded".
After threatening North Korea with "fire and fury" earlier this week, the president escalated the tension Friday with a tweet that the American arsenal is "locked and loaded". Pyongyang's military leaders have countered with highly detailed threats to fire missiles toward Guam.
A former Republican US senator from New Hampshire is urging his state's Congressional delegation to pass legislation that would set up a commission to determine President Trump's mental health.
Contacts began in February, when Tillerson briefed Trump on the situation with Americans hostages detained in North Korea.
It had been known the two sides had discussions to secure the June release of an American university student.
Tillerson began that effort, setting up talks that were supposed to take place in February, but they were canceled after Kim had his half brother assassinated at an airport Malaysia.
The president appeared to draw another red line that would trigger a USA attack against North Korea and "big, big trouble" for its leader, Kim Jong Un. If he keeps this up, he's inviting those within his own administration and party to consider whether it's time to invoke the 25th Amendment's provision for his removal: "Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President". It would take a two-thirds vote by both houses of Congress to remove the president permanently, but President Trump is skating on thin ice right now. In May, Yun also met with Pak in NY at the North Korean mission to the UN.
They included Mr Warmbier, who was imprisoned for stealing a propaganda poster and only allowed to return to the USA in June - in an unconscious state. Yun demanded to fly to Pyongyang to see him.