Speed Reads

simmer down

South Korea warns America and North Korea should lower their expectations

In the conflict over North Korea's nuclear development, South Korea has taken on the role of an exasperated parent who would just like everybody to take a deep breath and bring things down a notch, okay?

In a statement Monday, South Korean President Moon Jae-in warned both Washington and Pyongyang to moderate their expectations for negotiations. "Recently, North Korea has shown it is open to actively engaging the United States in talks and the United States is talking about the importance of dialogue," Moon said in Seoul. "There is a need for the United States to lower the threshold for talks with North Korea and North Korea should show it is willing to denuclearize," he continued. "It's important the United States and North Korea sit down together quickly."

Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D) made a similar argument in the wake of January's false alarm missile scare in her state. While the Trump administration has demanded complete denuclearization by North Korea before talks begin, Gabbard said such preconditions make no sense. "What would be the point of having a conversation if they get rid of their nuclear weapons?" she asked. "There would be nothing to talk about at that point."