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US 'a long way' from negotiations with North Korea: Rex Tillerson

He said a first step would be "talks about talks" to see if "conditions are right to even begin thinking about negotiations

AFP | PTI  |  Addis Ababa 

Trex Tillerson
Trex Tillerson

Washington's top Tillerson today said the was "a long way from negotiations" with North Korea, which this week made a shock offer to discuss denuclearisation.

Tillerson, who is in on his first-ever tour, said the signals from may be positive but stressed negotiations with Kim Jong Un's regime were not going to happen soon.

"I think as Trump has indicated, (there are) potentially positive signals coming from by way of their intra-Korean dialogue with South Korea," he told journalists.

But "in terms of direct talks... we're a long way from negotiations, we just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it," he said.

He said a first step would be "talks about talks" to see if "conditions are right to even begin thinking about negotiations."

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South Korean National Security Advisor briefs reporters outside the West Wing of the White House after meeting with the US Donald Trump, in Photo: PTI
Details are still sketchy, but announced Tuesday that the North had stated there was "no reason" to hold on to its nuclear weapons "if military threats towards the North are cleared and the security of its regime is guaranteed".

The North is open to "frank" talks with the on denuclearisation and would suspend missile and nuclear tests while dialogue was under way, the South's said after returning from a meeting in with Kim.

welcomed the offer as "very positive".

However his of told he was "quite skeptical" and said the US position towards would not change "until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearisation."

today urged the and to start negotiations as soon as possible, while has warned it could be a ploy to play for time, and urged "concrete" steps from

First Published: Fri, March 09 2018. 22:32 IST