Should the North want talks with the U.S., Tillerson said that Pyongyang should refrain from conducting nuclear or missile tests for a certain period of time so as to create the right atmosphere for talks, according to the official.
“Combining nuclear warheads with ballistic technology in the hands of a volatile leader like Kim Jong Un is a recipe for a disaster”, Harris said.
“We call on all nations to fully implement UN Security Council Resolutions, and sever or downgrade diplomatic and commercial relations with North Korea”, a spokeswoman for the US State Department, Katina Adams, said when asked about the new ferry service.
Trump also told the delegation that he is willing to make peace through engagement with Pyongyang if conditions are right, though he wouldn’t hold talks for the sake of talks. The secretary also said during a press interview last month that the administration has “no objective to change the regime” but seeks a denuclearized the Korean Peninsula.
Tillerson made clear that military options can come only after a number of other steps, the official said.
“The US’ first-stage objective is that Pyongyang does not carry out additional nuclear and missile tests”, he said.
But the USA administration, four months into office, has not spelled out what those conditions may be, and analysts caution that a resumption of long-stalled negotiations over North Korea’s nuclear weapons program is far from imminent.
Hong also quoted Tillerson as saying there are a multitude of USA businesses willing to invest in the North which would help rebuild the crumbling economy if it makes the right choice.
A member of Hong’s delegation, who requested anonymity, also quoted Tillerson as saying that the USA meant it when it said it seeks no regime change, no invasion of the North and it will guarantee the North’s system.
“China knows that THAAD poses absolutely no threat to its own security”, Tillerson was quoted as saying.
The remarks were laid out to reporters by a South Korean official on President Moon Jae-in’s special delegation to the United States, led by Hong Seok-hyun. Cory Gardner and Ben Cardin.
On Wednesday, Hong also met with National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster ahead of his visit to Trump.
It was the first meeting between Trump and an envoy of the new Moon administration.
In Beijing, special envoy Lee Hae-chan, a former prime minister and incumbent lawmaker of the ruling Democratic Party, met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday.
North Korea’s latest missile launch, despite landing just south of Russia’s Pacific coast, has so far had no discernible impact on relations between the two countries.