US ready to talk to North Korea without preconditions

In a shift in Washington's policy towards North Korea, Rex Tillerson says he's "ready to talk any time"

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US ready to talk to North Korea without preconditions

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It's time to talk" according to US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in an apparent new diplomatic overture to North Korea.

Tillerson has offered direct talks with Pyongyang without Washington issuing its normal insistence that it disarms first.

"We are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions," said Tillerson. "Let's just meet, and we can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether it is going to be a square table or a round table if that is what you are excited about. But can we at least sit down and see each other face to face. And then we can begin to lay out a map, a roadmap."

Numerous missile and nuclear tests by North Korea have strained diplomatic relations, made worse by a war of words between President Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un.

UN representative Jeffrey Feltman who recently visited Pyongyang said he felt he had left the door ajar for talks:

"They did not offer any type of commitment to us at that point. I think that they have to reflect on what we said with their leadership and I don't want to suggest that I can read the mind of my interlocutors or put words in their mouths.”

North Korea's pursuit of nuclear weapons technology has led to heavy US-led sanctions, Despite that, its leader has openly vowed to develop more nuclear weapons to bolster its nuclear force.