Thursday and Friday, high-ranking diplomats from both the U.S. and North Korea will be in Chiang Mai, Thailand, sparking hope they might meet on the sidelines to discuss the ongoing nuclear standoff.
Among those attending the Council for Security Cooperation in the Asia Pacific will be Special Representative for North Korea Policy Joseph Yun representing the U.S., and North Korean Institute on Peace and Disarmament Vice Chairman Choe Jin. The Yonhap News Agency reports there is hope the two sides could meet to begin direct dialogue.
The State Department noted Yun’s mission officially is to “strengthen the pressure campaign” on North Korea following the regime’s Nov. 29 test of the Hwasong-15 intercontinental ballistic missile. But Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has appeared to soften his tone at a forum Tuesday in Washington.
We’re ready to talk whenever North Korea is ready to talk and we’re willing to have a first meeting without preconditions. We can talk about the weather if you want,” Tillerson said. “I don’t think it’s realistic if you say we’re only going to talk if you give up your programs. It really depends on how you bring it up. [Kim Jong-un]’s clearly not like his father or his grandfather, and we don’t know what it will be like to engage with him…”
Full article: U.S., North Korea Moving Toward Talks? (TruNews)