Aug 12, 2:55 AM EDT

AP sources: US-NKorea talking behind the scenes for months

Timeline of clashes

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Trump administration and North Korea have had more diplomatic contact over the last several months than has been known publicly.

The Associated Press has learned that he two governments have quietly engaged in back-channel diplomacy to address Americans imprisoned in the North and deteriorating relations between the two longtime foes.

People familiar with the contacts tell the AP that the interactions have done nothing to tamp down tensions over North Korea's nuclear weapons and missile advances. But they say the behind-the-scenes discussions could still be a foundation for more serious negotiation, including on North Korea's nuclear weapons.

They say that could take place should President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un put aside the bellicose rhetoric of recent days and endorse a dialogue.

© 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Learn more about our Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.