White House walks back Rex Tillerson’s North Korea comments

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The White House on Tuesday walked back Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s comment that the U.S. was willing to sit down for talks with North Korea without preconditions.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that that president’s views on North Korea have not changed.

North Korea is acting in an unsafe way not only toward Japan, China, and South Korea, but the entire world. North Korea’s actions are not good for anyone and certainly not good for North Korea,” she said in a statement.

Earlier, Mr. Tillerson signaled a major shift in Washington’s approach to North Korea, which has threatened the U.S. and the world with its pursuit of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

“It’s not realistic to say we are only going to talk if you come to the table ready to give up your program,” Mr. Tillerson said in a speech to the Atlantic Council, a Washington think tank. “They have too much invested in it, and [the president] is very realistic about that as well.”

Mr. Trump and Mr. Tillerson have been at odds before over the approach to North Korea, and the secretary of state is expected to step down early next year.