Tillerson to North Korea: 'Let's Just ... Talk About the Weather'
He says talks can happen without preconditions
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2017 1:42 AM CST
Updated Dec 13, 2017 6:43 AM CST
In this undated photo provided on Saturday, Dec. 9, 2017, by the North Korean government, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un smiles after climbing Mt. Paektu.   (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)
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(Newser) – Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the US is ready to talk to North Korea at any time about any subject Pyongyang wants to talk about—without preconditions. "Let's just meet and let's talk about the weather if you want and talk about whether it's going to be a square table or a round table, if that's what you're excited about," Tillerson said in a speech at the Atlantic Council policy forum on Tuesday, per the BBC. "Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards." But the US has previously demanded that North Korea give up its nuclear weapons before talks begin, and it's not clear whether that policy has officially changed, NPR reports.

President Trump's "views on North Korea have not changed," the White House said in a statement after Tillerson's speech. "North Korea's actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea." Tillerson said that before talks could begin, there would need to be a "period of quiet" without nuclear or ICBM tests. Reuters reports that United Nations political affairs chief Jeffrey Feltman, whose trip to North Korea last week was the first of its kind since 2011, said Tuesday that Pyongyang did not commit to talks, but they "left the door ajar" for future negotiations. (China is believed to be preparing several refugee camps along the border.)

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