The US envoy to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, has distanced the Trump administration from proposed contacts between North and South Korea, saying it would not take any talks seriously if Pyongyang did not abandon its nuclear arsenal.
Haley’s dismissive assessment of planned high-level talks between Seoul and Pyongyang, was in clear contrast with the state department’s more cautious response – the latest example of Haley taking an independent line on foreign policy issues from the secretary of state, Rex Tillerson.
The White House and the state department denied that – in offering to send a delegation to South Korea for the Winter Olympics in February – the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un had succeeding in driving a wedge between South Korea and the US.
But there was a clear gap between Haley’s remarks and the willingness of the Seoul government expressed earlier on Tuesday to hold talks with the North “at any time and place, and in any form”.
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