‘Trust’ Us: Tillerson Urges North Korea to Back Off Nuke Program

Friday, May 19, 2017
By Paul Martin


On Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson implored North Korea to help foster an atmosphere conducive to talks by ceasing its ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests, asking them instead to “trust” the US’ pledge of no hostility.

Tillerson made the comments in a meeting with South Korean presidential envoy Hong Seok-hyun. This is one in a series of meetings indicating that Washington may be backing off its aggressive military stance toward Pyongyang and might be open to a diplomatic solution.

“The most impressive thing that I heard [from Tillerson] was that sanctions and pressure are not by themselves aimed at harassing North Korea, but are designed to create an opportunity for North Korea’s development through opening its doors and scrapping its nuclear program,” Hong said, Yonhap reported.

Tillerson added that if the North cooperates there are businesses that may be interested in investing in the impoverished nation. A member of the South Korean delegation said Tillerson also reiterated Washington’s promise to not seek regime change or conduct an invasion.

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