The Russian deputy foreign minister added that Moscow welcomed remarks from U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made on Tuesday regarding the possibility of negotiations, though added Washington had not previously seemed interested in Russia's freeze for freeze proposals.
"It's not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program". Let's just meet and let's talk about the weather if you want.
Citing Tillerson, the spokesperson said the United States will "know it when we see it" as to the right time for talks. "Let's just meet. And then we can begin to lay out a road map of what we might be willing to work towards".
When asked about Tillerson's Tuesday comments, the White House said, "The President's views on North Korea have not changed". This marks a significant shift from the administration's previous rejection of dialogue for the sake of dialogue, and is a major windfall for North Korea, which remains fully committed to nuclear development.
"It's not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program", Tillerson said.
Tillerson also revealed that the USA and China talked about what each country would do in case the North Korean regime collapses, saying the US had given China assurances that American troops would pull back to the 38th parallel which divides North and South Korea.
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Even as Tillerson stressed the importance of a negotiated end to the standoff, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to make his nation "the strongest nuclear power and military power in the world".
The nuclear-armed North has rattled the worldwide community with a flurry of nuclear blasts and missile launches, most recently on November 29 when it test-fired its longest-range intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM), capable of reaching all major USA cities. South Korea's presidential office spokesperson Park Soo-hyun released a written statement on Wednesday stating that Seoul and Washington have been working closely to bring North Korea back to dialogue.
The remarks are some of the most concrete issued by Tillerson on what talks with North Korea might look like. The new missile, according to Pyongyang, is capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to all parts of the United States mainland.
Other efforts to persuade Kim Jong Un to abandon his quest for a nuclear-armed North Korea have also proven ineffective. In two public appearances Tuesday, he warned that these efforts would continue until "the first bomb drops" and that Washington "simply can not accept a nuclear-armed North Korea ". The U.S. ambassador to China, Terry Branstad, repeated that position as recently as last week. "But North Korea must first refrain from any further provocations and take honest and meaningful actions toward denuclearization", a National Security Council spokesperson told CNN.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un vowed to "win victory in the showdown" against the U.S. with his rapidly advancing nuclear arsenal, state media said Wednesday, after the country's latest missile test heightened global tensions.