It’s been more than a week since President Trump publicly berated North Korea on Twitter, which last happened (maybe) because North Korean hackers stole joint U.S.-South Korean military intelligence. Needless to say and despite offers from Nobel Peace Prize winners to assist with peace discussions, diplomatic talks between the U.S. and North Korea haven’t been productive.
Meanwhile, North Korea isn’t backing down from its goal of developing long-range missiles and now says it won’t engage in diplomacy with the U.S. until it’s developed a missile capable of reading the East Coast. CNN has word from the North Korean foreign ministry:
North Korea is not ruling out diplomacy, but “before we can engage in diplomacy with the Trump administration, we want to send a clear message that the DPRK has a reliable defensive and offensive capability to counter any aggression from the United States,” the official said.
Last week, comments made by Chief of Staff John Kelly seemed to indicate that North Korea was closer to developing a long-range ballistic missile than previously believed. North Korea says it is necessary to “send that ‘clear message’ to the Trump administration that it possesses an effective nuclear deterrent.” Pyongyang also said that more tests could be conducted during U.S.-South Korea military drills (which North Korea calls a preamble to a U.S.-led invasion) or during President Trump’s visit to Asia in November.
On Sunday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told CNN that he’s willing to take diplomatic talks as they can go for as long as possible. “Those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops,” Tillerson said.