The Trump Administration’s position on North Korea continues to be very uncertain tonight, with Vice President Mike Pence capping off his anti-diplomacy Olympics push with an expression of openness for direct talks.
“If you want to talk, we’ll talk,” Pence said, and while he continued to talk up escalation of sanctions and isolation, the idea of direct diplomacy has been one the Trump Administration has struggled to deal with throughout its time in office.
President Trump has at times suggested talks were possible, but conditioned them on North Korea totally disarming beforehand. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, when he’s endorsed talks, has been condemned by the president.
So these mixed signals are clearly nothing new, and the US position seems to be that they’re open to talks, so long as they don’t actually happen, and that while the talks aren’t happening, new sanctions are to be imposed constantly, despite seemingly everything already having been sanctioned.