United States Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Tuesday said the government was ready to begin talks with North Korea without any preconditions, Reuters reported. The US had earlier said that Pyongyang must give up its nuclear arsenal before negotiations could start.
“Let’s just meet,” Tillerson said in a speech to Washington’s Atlantic Council think tank on Tuesday. Tillerson’s statement came two weeks after North Korea launched an intercontinental ballistic missile that could reach all of the United States, and declared itself a nuclear weapons state.
Tillerson said the United States was “ready to talk any time they’re ready to talk”, but there would first have to be a “period of quiet” without nuclear tests.
However, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders appeared to contradict Tillerson on Tuesday. “US President Donald Trump’s views on North Korea have not changed,” she said, according to Reuters. “North Korea is acting in an unsafe way. Its actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea.”