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Tillerson: U.S. ready to talk with N.K. if regime willing to change course

All Headlines 06:05 December 13, 2017

WASHINGTON, Dec. 12 (Yonhap) -- U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that Washington is "ready to talk" with North Korea at any time but only when the regime is willing to make a "different choice" on its nuclear weapons program.

"(We are) ready to talk anytime they'd like to talk, but they have to come to the table with a view they want to make a different choice," he told a forum here.

Tensions have escalated in the wake of North Korea's latest test of an intercontinental ballistic missile it claims is capable of delivering a nuclear weapon to all parts of the U.S.

"In the meantime, our military preparedness is strong," Tillerson noted.

The top diplomat said he will continue diplomatic efforts with North Korea "until the first bomb drops" and is confident he will be successful.

If necessary, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will take action and he will also be successful, Tillerson added.

hague@yna.co.kr
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