Haley: No ‘turnaround’ in Trump’s stance on North Korea talks

Nikki Haley said President Donald Trump hasn't made a "turnaround" regarding his stance on North Korea negotiations, stating he has said the country must first abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Photo by Manuel Elias/UN Handout

Jan. 7 (UPI) — U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley said the President Donald Trump maintains North Korea must halt nuclear weapons testing to engage in talks with the United States.

Haley dismissed the notion that Trump had changed his stance by expressing willingness to negotiate with North Korea, while appearing on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday.

“There is no turnaround,” Haley said. “What he has basically said is, ‘Yes, there could be a time where we talk to North Korea but a lot of things have to happen before that actually takes place.’ They have to stop testing. They have to be willing to talk about banning their nuclear weapons.”

Trump had previously insisted he wouldn’t participate in North Korea negotiations unless Pyongyang abandoned its pursuit of nuclear weapons and months ago told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson he “he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Haley told Stephanopoulos the United States is going to be “smart this time” regarding North Korea negotiations, insisting the country must stop weapons tests “for a significant amount of time” to meet the requirements to begin talks.

“The reality is this is a very dangerous situation,” she said of the threat of nuclear war with North Korea.

She also defended Trump’s tweet saying that he has a “much bigger [and] more powerful” nuclear button than Kim, saying the president “always has to keep Kim on his toes.”

“It’s very important that we don’t ever let him get so arrogant that he doesn’t realize the reality of what would happen if he started a nuclear war,” Haley said of Kim.

Haley’s comments come after North Korea accepted a South Korean offer of talks, to be held on Tuesday.


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