Pentagon chief Esper hopeful for restarting diplomacy with North Korea

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US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that he remains hopeful the United States can restart diplomatic relations with North Korea, as the clock ticks down to North Kore's declared year-end deadline to propose new concessions in talks over its nuclear arsenal.

“I remain hopeful that we could again get the process started again and remain on the diplomatic path,” Esper said.

But Esper also noted that along with supporting diplomats, he must “ensure the we are in a high state of readiness, prepared to fight and win, tonight if need be. And I'm confident in that.”

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