Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reportedly told U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Russia is willing help the United States and North Korea open a diplomatic dialogue to stave off the mounting threat of a nuclear crisis. (Photo: Alexander Shcherbak/TASS)

North Korea Ready for Direct Talks With U.S., Says Russian Foreign Minister

"We know that North Korea wants first of all to speak with the United States about its security guarantees," says Sergey Lavrov. "We are ready to support it. We are ready to help promote such talks."

Jessica Corbett

After talking with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on the sidelines of an international summit in Vienna on Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said North Korea is ready for direct talks and Russia is willing to help the two nations enter diplomatic discussions in order to decrease rising nuclear tensions and the threat of war.

"We spoke about the situation on the Korean peninsula," Lavrov, told TASS, a Russian news agency, about his talks with Tillerson. "Our position on this matter is unchanged. We are confident that it the vicious spiral of confrontation and provocations must be stopped."

"We know that North Korea wants first of all to speak with the United States about its security guarantees," he added. "We are ready to support it. We are ready to help promote such talks."

The State Department, however, seems unlikely to pursue the offer, and the department's spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, told Reuters that direct talks with North Korea were "not on the table until they are willing to denuclearize."

"It is something that Russia says it agrees with; it is something China has said it agrees with, and many other nations around the world as well," Nauert claimed, adding that North Korea was "not showing any interest in sitting down and having any kind of serious conversations when they continue to fire off ballistic missiles."

A spokesperson for Chinese Foreign Ministry emphasized the costs of war, and told Reuters: "We hope all relevant parties can maintain calm and restraint and take steps to alleviate tensions and not provoke each other.... The outbreak of war is not in any side's interest. The ones that will suffer the most are ordinary people."

These comments come as peace advocates continue to say that a diplomatic settlement through direct talks is the only way to resolve the volatile situation, and as one U.S. lawmaker expressed worries this week that too few realize just "how close we are to this war."

"I think that the president is playing to a segment of the population and, I think, relying on the fact that most Americans don't realize how close we are to this war," said Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), an Iraq War veteran, in an interview with Vox published Thursday. "Look: I'm not someone who's going to avoid war at all costs. That's not me. But I want the American people to know what this will cost."

Duckworth—who lost both her legs when her Black Hawk helicopter was downed in Iraq—recalls how the Bush administration was "selling a lie" ahead of the invasion of Iraq, and warns that "we don't have the troops in the region, on the ground, to do what would need to be done to fully contain [North Korea's] nuclear capabilities," but "just ramping up—prepositioning troops, stocks, and logistics in a place where we could do it—could prompt the North Koreans to do something."

The United States continues to conduct joint military exercises with South Korean forces over the Korean peninsula, despite warnings from the North Koreans that the drills are perceived as provocations of war, as Common Dreams reported Wednesday.

"The large-scale nuclear war exercises conducted by the U.S. in succession are creating touch-and-go situation on the Korean peninsula, and series of violent war remarks coming from the U.S. high-level politicians amid such circumstances have made an outbreak of war on the Korean peninsula an established fact," a North Korean spokesperson said this week. "The remaining question now is: when will the war break out."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

Australian Progressives Hail 'Greenslide' Amid Big Left Wins and Morrison's Ouster

"People have backed the Greens in record numbers and delivered a massive mandate for action on climate and inequality," said party leader Adam Bandt.

Brett Wilkins ·


Omar Leads Charge Against Baby Formula Monopolies Amid US Shortage

Democrats urge the FTC to probe "any unfair or unsustainable practices, like deceptive marketing, price gouging, and stock buybacks, that may be weakening our nutritional formula supply."

Jessica Corbett ·


'Arbitrary, Racist, and Unfair': Judge Blocks Biden From Ending Title 42

"Only the coyotes profiteering off of people seeking protection have reason to celebrate this ill-reasoned ruling," said one migrant rights advocate.

Brett Wilkins ·


'This Is a War' for Democratic Party's Future, Says Sanders of AIPAC's Super PAC

"They are doing everything they can to destroy the progressive movement in this country," said the senator.

Julia Conley ·


Ginni Thomas Pressed Arizona Lawmakers to Reverse Biden's 2020 Win: Report

"Clarence Thomas' continued service on the Supreme Court is a scandalous and appalling breach of judicial ethics," said one observer. "He is implementing the exact same theories that his wife used to try to steal the 2020 election for Trump."

Brett Wilkins ·

Common Dreams Logo