In the dispute over north korea’s nuclear weapons, U.S. Secretary of state rex tillerson has signaled a new willingness to talk to the reclusive communist regime.
"We are ready for a first meeting without preconditions". Let’s just come together," tillerson said in an address at the foreign policy research institute atlantic council. The topic of the talks does not matter as long as both sides are sitting opposite each other. Negotiators could then jointly set targets.??
Tensions in the region have escalated in recent months after north korea tested multiple missiles and another nuclear bomb in early september, in violation of UN resolutions. North korea says it can now attack the entire U.S. Mainland with nuclear warheads.
Tillersons made the remarks shortly before south korean president moon jae’s first state visit to china. Moon had arrived in beijing on wednesday to discuss the north korea kirse in addition to bilateral issues during his four-day visit with the chinese leadership.
Moon is in a quandary: a dispute over the deployment of a new U.S. Missile defense system in south korea had strained relations with china for months. Restoring trust is therefore a priority during his visit, moon had said before his departure. At the same time, moon does not want to anger its U.S. Allies.
The deployment of the THAAD defense system was an "unavoidable" decision for south korea to protect itself against potential missile attacks by north korea.
Beijing had repeatedly criticized the deployment because the radar system, which is part of THAAD, can spy on airspace well into china. Despite the differences, seoul and peking had agreed by the end of october to restore exchanges and cooperation in all areas.
Despite tighter international sanctions, north korea tested another intercontinental ballistic missile in late november. The leadership declared a short time later that the country could now attack the entire u.S. Mainland with nuclear warheads.
After an economic forum on wednesday, moon will meet with china’s state and party leader xi jinping for talks on thursday.