Tillerson: Ready for North Korea Talks Without Preconditions

Promises to Push Diplomacy 'Until the First Bomb Drops'

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson appeared to make a major change to the US position with respect to possible direct negotiations with North Korea, saying Tuesday that he is prepared to engage in such talks without preconditions.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson (left)

Historically, the US has demanded North Korea unilaterally disarm before the would even consider negotiations, something which North Korea has long refused, arguing they need to deter the US from just attacking them outright.

As North Korea’s deterrent capabilities expand, the Secretary of State may believe he can no longer simply wait indefinitely on North Korean capitulation. This also comes amid Rusian officials saying North Korea is “ready” for such talks, which would make it embarrassing for the US to stand in the way of it.

Tillerson also said he’d continue to push for diplomacy “until the first bomb drops,” echoing comments he made in the past. Other administration officials have suggested “time is running out” before a US attack on North Korea, but have not offered a timeline on that.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for Antiwar.com. He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.