One day after U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made a series of statements indicating an open willingness to engage in diplomatic talks with North Korea without any preconditions, the White House issued its own statement directly contradicting America’s top diplomat.
We’ve said from the diplomatic side, we’re ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. We are ready to have the first meeting without precondition. Let’s just meet, and we can talk about the weather if you want.” Tillerson said before the Atlantic Council in Washington D.C. on Tuesday.
Immediately following Tillerson’s statements, White House officials declared that President Trump’s stance on North Korea hadn’t changed, but stopped short of contradicting the State Department head. On Wednesday, however, a spokesman for the White House National Security Council ended any ambiguity.
Given North Korea’s most recent missile test, clearly right now is not the time,” the unnamed spokesman told Reuters. “The administration is united in insisting that any negotiations with North Korea must wait until the regime fundamentally improves its behavior. As the secretary of state himself has said, this must include, but is not limited to, no further nuclear or missile tests.”