'Not time for talks': White House backtracks from Tillerson's comments

White House Says Now Not the Time for Talks with N. Korea

White House says not right time for talks with North Korea hours after Rex Tillerson offered direct dialogue

Trump signed the same national security waiver his predecessors have signed before him to delay the embassy move from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem for another six months. (Ciccone has since been put in charge of the overhaul.) When I asked what might happen to Tillerson's reorganization, the second State Department staffer told me, "That's the million-dollar question". He said it's unclear if the North will want to negotiate as it nears deployment of a nuclear missile that could strike America. He emphasized, however, that the Trump administration remains firmly committed to denuclearizing North Korea: "It's not realistic to say we're only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your [nuclear weapons] program".

In Washington, added Feffer, "pundits and policymakers are talking about a 'three-month window' within which the Trump administration can stop North Korea from acquiring the capability to strike U.S. cities with nuclear weapons", pointing to an estimate that reportedly comes from the CIA. "We can talk about whether it's going to be a square table or a round table". But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face? We'll see how it all turns out.

Then in September, after Mr Tillerson said he had established direct lines of communication with Pyongyang, the president accused the secretary of "wasting his time". "And we are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions", Tillerson said at the Atlantic Council think tank, adding that the North would need to pause its weapons testing. "Then we can begin to lay out a map, a road map, of what we might be willing to work towards".

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"Look, this is a hard job.The actual task at hand, dealing with North Korea, I don't enjoy that". "I'm confident that we're gonna be successful. Only then will we be prepared to engage them in talks". "North Korea's actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea". Last week, some 12,000 military personnel and more than 200 warplanes, including B-1B strategic bombers and the latest F-35 stealth fighters took part in major air drills.

Tillerson drew his first burst of applause for an announcement that he would lift a freeze he had instituted on the hiring of diplomats' family members at overseas missions, and that he would speed the process of security clearances.

"We are ready to talk any time North Korea would like to talk". "That's not the way this works". "North Korea is acting in an unsafe way". Food prices have shot up 160 percent since April. Instead, Donald Trump's chief diplomat made some news. Aided by PowerPoint slides, he grew animated as he described redesign initiatives ranging from modernizing the agency's Human Resources systems to possibly curtailing its diplomatic footprint in London, Rome, and Paris.

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More ominously, a provincial newspaper in the border area-the state-owned Jilin Daily -issued a full-page advisory last week entitled "General Knowledge about Nuclear Weapons and Protection".

There's ample precedent for a public disconnect between Tillerson and Trump on vital issues of foreign policy. He said Beijing had been given assurances that if US forces had to cross into North Korea they would pull back across the border into the South.

In our efforts with Pakistan, Pakistan is still an important and valued partner of the United States, he noted.

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After a closed briefing by Feltman on Tuesday, Sweden's deputy U.N. ambassador, Carl Skau, was supportive but skeptical about chances for an opening.

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