Tillerson: can’t accept preconditions for talks with N. Korea

WASHINGTON– US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday “we are not going to accept preconditions” for talks with North Korea, and that “we will maintain the pressure campaign.” “We are not going to accept preconditions, we do not accept a freeze for freeze as a precondition to talks. We do not accept any relaxing of the sanctions regime as a precondition of talks. We do not accept a resumption of humanitarian assistance as a precondition of talks,” Tillerson told a press conference at the UN in New York.

“We are not going to accept preconditions for these talks, but our communication channels remain open. North Korea knows they’re open; they know where the door is; they know where to walk through that door when they want to talk,” he said.

Tillerson reiterated “we simply cannot continue to accept the progress of North Korea’s (nuclear) program,” saying “we will maintain the pressure campaign.” Tillerson said “we undertake efforts to increase the effectiveness of the pressure campaign,” both through a combination of the sanctions regime, full implementation and compliance of the sanction regime, as well as unilateral actions on the part of many, many countries to send the message to North Korea through diplomatic steps, as well as economic steps, that, “We do not accept the pathway you’re on.” He added “we hope that this pressure campaign will cause North Korea to alter its course, re-examine whether this truly is going to lead to more security for the regime, and whether it is possible for them to even sustainable an economy if they continue the path they’re on.

“We’re going to continue our diplomatic efforts. Those options remain open until other things may foreclose the diplomatic option,” he remarked.

However, the US top diplomat stressed that President Donald Trump “has been very clear: Militarily, we are going to be prepared should something go wrong. And our military is prepared.”

Source: Kuwait News Agency