Vice President Mike Pence says the US is demanding North Korean leader Kim Jong Un place on the table the prospect of giving up his nuclear weapons as a precondition for supporting any substantive talks between the two Koreas.
"Denuclearisation has to be the starting point of any change, not the end point of any change," said Pence on Friday, adding that "concrete steps" must be taken.
"Then and only then will the world community consider negotiating and making changes in the sanctions regime that's placed on them today."
His comments come after he pressed South Korean President Moon Jae-in Thursday to be clear-eyed about opening talks with North Korea around the Olympic games.
Pence says the US and South Korea are "completely aligned."
Australian Associated Press