BRINK OF DISASTER

Russia: North Korea Is Ready for Direct Talks With the U.S.

North Korea is now ready for direct talks with the U.S. over the nuclear standoff that has caused fear the world over, according to Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. The diplomat said he informed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the breakthrough Thursday in Vienna, where the two met. The State Department has said North Korea would need to express a serious willingness to give up its nuclear arsenal before the U.S. is willing to open a direct dialogue. “We know that North Korea wants above all to talk to the United States about guarantees for its security. We are ready to support that, we are ready to take part in facilitating such negotiations,” said Lavrov. “Our American colleagues, [including] Rex Tillerson, have heard this.”