The Trump administration sent mixed signals on North Korea Thursday, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the U.S. is open to direct negotiations with Kim Jong-un’s regime over his country’s nuclear program, while President Trump hinted at a possible nuclear war. Trump made the remark in an interview with the Reuters news service.
President Donald Trump: “Well, there’s a—there’s a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea. Absolutely.”
Trump’s comment came as Secretary of State Tillerson told NPR he’s open to direct talks with North Korea if the country is serious about permanently abandoning its nuclear program. Meanwhile, President Trump told Reuters that South Korea should pay the $1 billion price tag for a THAAD missile defense system the U.S. recently began installing. Trump suggested the U.S. could cancel a free trade deal between the two countries if South Korea doesn’t accept the demand.