US Secretary Of State Softens Approach To North Korean Aggression

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks during a forum on US-South Korea relations at the Atlantic Council in Washington DC

"We need to develop relations with that country, and political dialogue is very important", Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said in comments carried by state news agency TASS. "And we are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions". "They clearly understand that if we're going to talk, we have to have a period of quiet", he said, echoing a statement back in August that the best signal that Pyongyang is ready for talks would be for it to stop launching missiles. "Let's just meet, and we can talk about the weather if you want".

The US has previously demanded that Kim Jong-un's rogue regime demonstrate a willingness to consider giving up their nuclear programme before talks.

This appears to be a significant departure from the previous Trump administration position that North Korea must give up its nuclear missile program as a precondition for talks. The U.S. has maintained that North Korea should come forward ready to give up its weapons before the U.S. would engage in dialogue.

Tensions between Washington and Pyongyang over North Korea's weapons advances have grown this year and recent exchanges of bellicose rhetoric have fueled fears over the risk of military conflict. Trump in October had told Tillerson that he is "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with the North.

But elsewhere in his remarks, Tillerson insisted the US-led pressure campaign of economic and diplomatic sanctions would continue until "the first bomb drops".

Noh said Tillerson also stressed the DPRK's halt of provocation to resume dialogue with the DPRK.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to "win victory in the showdown" against the USA with his rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, state media said Wednesday, after the country's latest missile test heightened global tensions. "Because of the situation, the president has ordered our military planners to have a full range of contingencies available, and they are ready".

Tillerson's overture came almost two weeks after North Korea said it had successfully tested a breakthrough intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) that put the entire United States mainland within range.

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