Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday, after North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un postponed a threat to fire missiles towards the US territory of Guam, that Washington remains ready for talks.
But the top US diplomat said it would be up to Kim when such negotiations would begin, having previously insisted Pyongyang must demonstrate that it accepts it will have to give up its nuclear program.
“I have no response to his decisions at all at this time,” Tillerson said, when asked about Kim’s decision to hold off. “We continue to be interested in finding ways to get to dialogue, but that’s up to him.”
Speaking after the launch of a religious freedom report, Tillerson would not go into more detail as to how North Korea could demonstrate a commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
But he has previously said it must halt ballistic missile and nuclear tests for an unspecified amount of time before negotiations can begin on how to halt the stand-off and any threat of US military action.
Earlier Tuesday, the unpredictable and isolated North Korean leader had been briefed by his missile forces on a “plan for an enveloping fire at Guam,” according to the North’s official KCNA news agency.
But afterwards, according to KCNA, he decided to postpone the operation to “watch a little more the foolish and stupid conduct of the Yankees” and not to go ahead unless the US commits more “reckless actions.”