U.S. North Korea negotiator recommends direct diplomacy with Pyongyang

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WATCH: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Tuesday the United States was prepared to talk to North Korea whenever it is ready but Pyongyang must come to the negotiating table willing to make choices to change course on its nuclear and missile programs – Dec 13, 2017

The chief U.S. negotiator for North Korea said on Friday the United States should engage in direct diplomacy with Pyongyang alongside sanctions imposed over its nuclear program.

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson offered on Tuesday to begin direct talks with North Korea without pre-conditions, but the White House later said no negotiations could be held until North Korea improved its behavior.

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“We should exercise direct diplomacy as well as sanctions. That is our policy which is based on pressure and engagement and we do want to engage in pressure and diplomacy,” Joseph Yun, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Policy, told reporters in Bangkok.

READ MORE: U.S. senator says there’s a 30% chance of war with North Korea

Yun traveled to Japan and Thailand this week to meet with officials to discuss ways to build pressure on North Korea after its latest ballistic missile test.

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