Top U.S officials have expressed openness to dialogue with North Korea, while reaffirming commitment to the U.S.' maximum pressure campaign against the regime.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said during a news conference in Egypt on Monday that it will be “up to North Korea” to decide when it is ready to engage in serious and meaningful diplomatic talks with the U.S.
[Sound bite: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson]
"As we have said for some time, it's really up to the North Koreans to decide when they are ready to engage with us in a sincere way, a meaningful way. They know what has to be on the table for conversations. We've said for some time that I think its important that we have... we are going to need to have some discussions that precede any form of negotiation."
Tillerson said that North Koreans “know what has to be on the table for conversations.”
As to Vice President Mike Pence’s comments about potentially having talks with North Korea, Tillerson said it’s too early to judge.
On the flight home from his trip to South Korea on Sunday, the U.S. vice president said that the maximum pressure campaign is going to continue unless the North takes steps towards its denuclearlization but added that if the North wants to talk, the U.S. will talk.