Guterres made the comments to reporters after meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Tokyo just days after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions. The White House said Wednesday that no negotiations could be held with North Korea until it improves its behavior. Abe, who spoke to reporters with Guterres, reiterated that dialogue needed to be meaningful and aimed at denuclearisation. Tillerson’s overture came nearly two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range. In September, North Korea fired a ballistic missile over the northern Japanese island of Hokkaido, the second to fly over Japan in less than a month.