Secretary of State John Kerry indicated that the US is ready to sit down with North Korea for talks on easing the current crisis, but that they must give some indication that they are ready to give up their nuclear weapons.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Sunday stressed the United States is willing to engage with North Korea as long as it takes steps to give up nuclear weapons.
Kerry said the United States would "do what was necessary" to defend its allies Japan and South Korea, but added: "Our choice is to negotiate, our choice is to move to the table and find a way for the region to have peace."
Kerry was in Japan for the final stop on an Asian tour aimed at solidifying support for curbing North Korea's nuclear program, and reassuring U.S. allies.
He also vowed Washington would protect its Asian allies against any provocative acts by the North, but said it wants a peaceful solution to rising tensions in the region.
"We are prepared to reach out but we need (the) appropriate moment, appropriate circumstance," Kerry told a small group of reporters, adding that North Korea had to take steps toward giving up its nuclear programs.
"They have to take some actions. Now how many and how much I want to have a discussion with folks back in Washington (about)... but they have to take action," he added.
The North has threatened for weeks to attack the United States, South Korea and Japan since new U.N. sanctions were imposed in response to its latest nuclear arms test in February. Speculation has mounted of a new missile launch or nuclear test.
"I think it is really unfortunate that there has been so much focus and attention in the media and elsewhere on the subject of war, when what we really ought to be talking about is the possibility of peace. And I think there are those possibilities," Kerry earlier told a news conference in Tokyo after a meeting with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida.
So it looks like Kim's gambit has worked again. We'll sit down with the North and they will have extorted food and fuel in exchange for vague promises about their nuclear program. One wonders why we don't tire of this game and just ignore them.
But even though Kim acts like a spoiled two year old, as long as he has nukes, we can't avoid dealing with him - and on his terms too.