U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addresses a joint news conference with European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini at the European Council in Brussels, Belgium, December 5, 2017. Lawmakers of both parties, former secretaries of state, former national security officials and retired foreign service officers, as well as diplomats resigning in anger, say the administration's approach to the State Department is undermining U.S. national security and weakening diplomacy at a time of deepening worldwide crises.
"We are ready to have the first meeting without precondition", Mr Tillerson said in a speech in Washington, DC. It flew higher and farther than any previous test, and demonstrated that North Korea had the ability to hit "everywhere in the world", Mattis said at the time.
McMaster made the statement after he was asked if the chance of war had increased with North Korea after the country launched an intercontinental ballistic missile.
"Let's just meet and we can talk about the weather if you want to". Mr Tillerson said any talks would have to occur amid a "period of quiet", noting that it would be "tough to talk if in the middle of our talks you decide to test another device". "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 roadmap of what we might be willing to work toward?" "They have too much invested in it", he said. "The president is very realistic about that as well". "No", Tillerson told a town hall meeting of State Department employees Tuesday after recounting work to date on North Korea, Russia, Syria, China and a slew of other issues.
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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. "North Korea is acting in an unsafe way".
"The president's views on North Korea have not changed", the White House said.
The United States had previously held that they would not engage in talks with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) unless certain conditions were met. President Trump has held that North Korea must agree to denuclearization before talks could commence, reiterating this position in November's diplomatic visit to Asia. "And what would we be willing to put on the table in return for sustaining a testing freeze and more comprehensive talks?"
Sanders noted that the Trump administration has from the very beginning been very tough on Russian Federation, and has taken steps to put pressure on Moscow. "We're ready to talk anytime they're ready to talk, but they have to come to the table and they have to come to the table with a view that they're ready to make a different choice".
Tillerson had acknowledged that it would be unrealistic for Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons program before talks could begin, as the nation's threat of war is one of its few bargaining chips.
The apparent shift in Tillerson's thinking came almost two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile in what it called a "breakthrough" that put the United States mainland within range.