/Tillerson: US ‘an extended methods from’ direct talks with North Korea

Tillerson: US ‘an extended methods from’ direct talks with North Korea

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson | Jonathan Ernst/AFP by way of Getty Pictures

Trump this week expressed optimism that North Korean chief Kim Jong Un could also be amenable to ending the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson mentioned the U.S. is “an extended methods from negotiations” with North Korea on Thursday, cautioning that expectations in regards to the diplomatic relations between the 2 international locations must be “life like.”

“By way of direct talks with the USA, you ask negotiations and we’re an extended methods from negotiations,” Tillerson mentioned of the potential of talks with North Korea throughout a press convention in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The U.S. diplomat added: “I believe we simply have to be very clear-eyed and life like about it. I believe step one — and I’ve mentioned this earlier than, is to have talks.”

The remarks comes two days after President Donald Trump expressed optimism that North Korean chief Kim Jong Un could also be amenable to ending the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

The president, chatting with reporters throughout a bilateral assembly with the Swedish prime minister on Tuesday, mentioned he believed North Korean officers had been “honest” in telling their South Korean counterparts throughout current talks that they’d be open to halting their nuclear program.

“Now we have made progress,” Trump mentioned of North Korea. “There’s no query about it.”

Trump partially credited a slew of “biting” U.S. sanctions — and himself — in serving to to convey North Korea to the desk.

“We’ve come definitely a great distance, at the least rhetorically, with North Korea,” mentioned. “It could be an important factor for the world, it will be an important factor for North Korea, it will be an important factor for the peninsula, however we’ll see what occurs.”

Tillerson on Thursday concurred with the president that diplomatic talks between North and South Korea signaled “doubtlessly constructive indicators,” however he voiced uncertainty over whether or not U.S. officers would finally meet face-to-face with North Korean officers.

Tillerson delivered the remarks throughout his first diplomatic tour by means of the continent of Africa.