Hopeful for restarting diplomacy with North Korea, but stands ready: Pentagon chief Mark Esper

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 20, 2019, 10.13 PM(IST)

File photo of US Defence Secretary Mark Esper. Photograph:( Reuters )

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Esper also said that he must "ensure we are in a high state of readiness, prepared to fight and win, tonight if need be. And I'm confident in that."

Amid the deadlock between the United States and North Korea talks, Defence Secretary Mark Esper said, he is hopeful that the US can restart diplomacy process again.

Speaking a the Pentagon during a press briefing, Esper said, "I remain hopeful that we could again get the process started again and remain on the diplomatic path."

Esper also said that he must "ensure we are in a high state of readiness, prepared to fight and win, tonight if need be. And I'm confident in that."

"We are prepared for whatever," Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley said during the same briefing.

The negotiations between the US and North Korea have been at the stalemate since the collapse of Hanoi Summit between US President Donald Trump and his counterpart Kim Jong-un earlier this year.

Earlier this week the tension rose to the next level as Pyongyang conducted a series of weapons tests and waged a war of words with Trump.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng met US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun on Friday.

Meanwhile, Trump also said that he held discussion with Chinese President Xi Jinping on North Korea.

The nuclear-armed North carried out a series of tests at its Sohae rocket facility this month after several weapons launch in recent weeks.

The North Korea leader also promised an ominous "Christmas gift" if Washington does not come up with some concessions.

To which Trump later responded that he'd be "disappointed" if North Korea had something "in the works".

"We'll see. I'd be disappointed if something would be in the works. And if it is, we'll take care of it," Trump said at the White House when asked about the situation. "We're watching it very closely."