Having one again been rebuked about the whole diplomacy thing by President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has rolled back his announcement that he is ready for talks with North Korea without precondition. He is now both not ready for talks and restoring the preconditions.
On Wednesday, the White House issued a statement correcting Tillerson’s Tuesday’s comments, saying that President Trump views talks as “pointless,” and suggesting direct talks are not being contemplated.
Tillerson now says that any talks with North Korea are not only on a precondition that North Korea halt all weapons testing, but that they leave the testing paused for a long time. Though he didn’t give a timeline, this suggests no talks are even theoretically possible, even if North Korea capitulates for some time.
The problem with this is, as with the other preconditions for talks, this halt in testing is a major part of what the US wants out of the deal, and if they are given it as a precondition, they likely will see little reason to offer anything during the real talks.