In a move some see as raising the possibility of direct diplomacy, President Trump told reporters that he would “absolutely” be willing to talk with Kim Jong Un, though only with certain unspecified preconditions.
This seems like a substantial change, as President Trump has long panned the idea of diplomacy with North Korea not just in specifics, but in general terms, suggesting even courting such talks is a “waste of time.”
Ambassador Nikki Haley, however, insisted that there was no actual change in US policy related to the comments, and Trump’s preconditions meant a distinction without a difference, that North Korea would basically have to give the US everything they wanted unilaterally before the talks.
Haley’s comments make sense, in that President Trump has previously suggested talks were possible with North Korea only to later define them away with impossible preconditions.
North Korea’s position has long been that they need to deter US attacks before they can negotiate on an even footing. The US position makes such talks impossible, as they demand North Korea give up that deterrent beforehand.