Political News

Tillerson says US won't set preconditions for North Korea talks

Posted December 12, 2017 4:44 p.m. EST

— Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the US is ready to talk with North Korea without preconditions.

"We've said from the diplomatic side, we're ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk," Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council in Washington on Tuesday.

"We are ready to have the first meeting without precondition," Tillerson said. "Let's just meet, and we can talk about the weather if you want. Talk about whether it's going to be a square table or a round table, if that's what you are excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face, and then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map of what we might be willing to work towards."

Tillerson said that the previous position that North Korea would have to give up its weapons wasn't workable, and that President Donald Trump agrees. Previously, the administration has said that talks with North Korea had to focus on denuclearization.

"It's not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program," Tillerson said. "They have too much invested in it, and the President is very realistic about that as well."

If diplomacy doesn't work, Tillerson said he would have "failed," and that diplomatic efforts are backed by military options.