Tillerson: Talks with North Korea still an option

Secretary of State says U.S. still interested in talks with North Korea, puts the onus on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Rex Tillerson
Rex Tillerson

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that the United States was still interested in talks with North Korea, but put the onus on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

"We continue to be interested in trying to find a way to get to dialogue, but that's up to him," Tillerson told reporters, according to The Hill.

Tensions have increased between the United States and North Korea in recent weeks.

North Korea last week threatened a missile attack on Guam, a tiny U.S. territory in the Pacific, in response to President Donald Trump’s warning that Pyongyang faced "fire and fury like the world has never seen" if it continued to threaten the United States with its missile and nuclear programs.

On Friday, Trump tweeted that military options for a potential threat from North Korea are "fully in place," and urged Kim to de-escalate the current confrontation with Washington.

On Monday, however, North Korea’s official news agency reported that Kim is holding off on attacking Guam and will watch the actions of the United States for a while longer before making a decision.

Tillerson said Tuesday he had “no response” to Kim’s decision on Guam.

Kim’s decision on Guam came after Defense Secretary James Mattis warned that a missile launched at the United States or its territories would be considered an act of war.

“If they shoot at the United States, I’m assuming they hit the United States. If they do that, it’s game on,” Mattis said Monday.