UNITED24 - Make a charitable donation in support of Ukraine!

Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Iran Press TV

Tillerson says US ready for 'talks' with North Korea, not 'negotiations'

Iran Press TV

Fri Mar 9, 2018 02:06PM

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says Washington is ready for "talks" with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, not "negotiations."

"The conditions are not right for negotiations. We've been saying for some time we're open for talks," Tillerson told reporters at a press conference in Djibouti City, Djibouti on Friday.

He added that the North Korean leader had shown a "fairly dramatic" change of posture, one that had surprised the US administration and prompted President Donald Trump's decision to hold talks.

So now I think it's a question of agreeing on the timing of that first meeting between the two of them and a location and that will take some weeks before we get all that worked out," Tillerson continued.

On Thursday, Trump announced that he would meet with North Korea's leader, adding that Kim talked "denuclearization" with South Korean officials and that the country would halt its missile tests in preparation for the meeting.

"Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!" he tweeted.

Pyongyang had in the past denounced joint war games between the US and its regional allies off the Korean Peninsula as a "declaration of war."

The standoff was triggered by North Korea's decision last summer to begin a series of tests for its long-range missiles and a powerful nuclear test, which prompted increased international pressure on Pyongyang to give up its weapons program.

North Korea says it will not abandon its weapons program which Pyongyang says acts as a deterrent against any possible aggression by Washington or its allies.

Join the GlobalSecurity.org mailing list