Tillerson says U.S. willing to talk to North Korea without pre-condition

Russia sends military delegation to North Korea

US policy on North Korea hasn't changed, campaign will continue 'till first bomb drops', says Rex Tillerson

"And we are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions", Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council think tank.

"We're going to end the hiring freeze in 2018 and return the authority to bureaus and posts to make decisions on what they need for eligible family members", Tillerson said, drawing applause. "We can talk about whether it's a square table or a round table if that's what you are excited about", Tillerson said.

Tillerson's remarks came two weeks after North Korea conducted a test with a missile that could potentially carry a nuclear warhead to the U.S. Eastern Seaboard — a milestone in its decades-long drive to pose an atomic threat to its American adversary that Trump has vowed to prevent, using military force if necessary. Pressed on what those conditions might be, Ja said "the conditions North Korea requires".

In remarks and a Q&A that lasted more than an hour, the top United States diplomat said he was "quite satisfied" with diplomatic progress on pressuring North Korea, that President Donald Trump's strategy to fight ISIS is bearing fruit and that efforts to work with Russian Federation continue where possible, despite its act of "hybrid warfare" in interfering with the 2016 election.

The Chinese are also working on their own contingency plans to deal with a massive flow of North Korean refugees into China if the regime fell apart, Tillerson said.

Two experienced former diplomats, Nicholas Burns and Ryan Crocker, said the administration's dictate that State Department staff be cut by 8%, or 25,000 people, was a deliberate effort to "dismantle" the institution.

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He said Washington and Seoul both maintain a firm stance that North Korea's nuclear weapons can not be tolerated and should be completely discarded in a peaceful way.

A top United Nations diplomat and former state department official, Jeffrey Feltman, is just back from Pyongyang, and the United Nations says he's calling for open channels to reduce the risks of conflict. The country's foreign ministry called it "confrontational warmongering".

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the non-partisan Arms Control Association, said Tillerson's proposal was overdue but that "in order to get to such talks going, the USA side as well as North Korea must demonstrate more restraint". Because we are dealing with a North Korean leader that no one has ever engaged with.

Tillerson said the results of Trump's policies to defeat ISIS are "quite evident", but that it will be many years before the United States and its coalition allies can declare victory. "Sorry, but only one thing will work!"

"The President's views on North Korea have not changed". "We'll continue to work with Russian Federation in Syria as long as they want to work toward that objective", he said.

Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Arms Control Association, said Tillerson's proposal for direct talks with North Korea without preconditions was overdue and a welcome shift in position, but both sides needed to demonstrate restraint.

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