US open to dialogue with North Korea, but Pyongyang must refrain from provocative acts

Mark Toner said China's proposal that the US and South Korea halt their annual military exercises in exchange for a suspension of N Korea's nuclear and missile programs was not a "viable deal."

By: Reuters | Washington | Published: March 9, 2017 7:37 am

The United States is open to a dialogue with North Korea on denuclearizing the Korean peninsula, but the onus is on Pyongyang to take “meaningful actions” toward that end and to refrain from provocative acts, the US State Department said on Wednesday.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner said China’s proposal that the United States and South Korea halt their annual military exercises in exchange for a suspension of North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs was not a “viable deal.”

“This is apples and oranges,” he said. “What we’re doing in terms of our defense cooperation with South Korea is in no way comparable to the blatant disregard that North Korea has shown with respect to international law.”

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