Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, continuing to send wildly conflicting statements of administration policy compared to the rest of the cabinet, today insisted that the US was willing to hold talks with North Korea, on the condition that Pyongyang half its missile tests.
This offer would be an unusual offer of an olive branch by the US, and a chance to get the sort of serious talks with North Korea that both China and South Korea have been loudly advocating for some time now. But is it a real offer?
That’s not clear, as just a week ago US Ambassador Nikki Haley declared “the time for talk is over,” and since then US officials have been talking up attacking North Korea outright, with National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster talking favorably of a “preventative war.”
There’s no definitive way to determine which of these positions is the real administration position, though President Trump has been very sour on the idea of diplomacy with North Korea in general in his own comments on the matter, presenting diplomacy in general as a “failed” policy.