TODAY   |  April 15, 2013

John Kerry ‘prepared’ for talks with N. Korea

Wrapping up his six-nation tour, Secretary of State John Kerry told NBC’s Andrea Mitchell he’s open to direct talks between the U.S. and North Korea, if Pyongyang stops testing nuclear weapons and issuing threats.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> we have new information on how the obama administration is handling the latest threats from north korea . nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent andrea mitchell talked to secretary of state john kerry overnight. andrea, good morning to you.

>> reporter: good morning, matt. john kerry wrapped up his six-nation tour with an offer for direct talks with north korea if north korea stops testing nuclear weapons and threatening its neighbors. before leaving tokyo, kerry sat down with us.

>> i think there's been so much rhetoric and so much intensity to the missiles and to the confrontation that sometimes the message gets lost so i think it never hurts to reinforce that a nation is prepared under the right circumstances when conditions are met to have appropriate negotiation.

>> reporter: your friend, john mccain , has said every time different administrations negotiate with north korea that they take our money, they take our fuel and then they go ahead and cheat. so why wouldn't that happen again?

>> we are determined -- i am determined to try to find if there is a different formula.

>> reporter: what does it mean if he does launch a missile or do some other provocative act on this day, the anniversary or in the coming days?

>> my hope is there won't be, because that would mean perhaps we're turning a corner and there's a possibility of moving in a better direction.

>> reporter: could an envoy make a difference?

>> not unless they indicate that they're prepared to move in the directions that everybody has made clear they need to move in. we're not going to go through the same cycle here.

>> there's no sign that north korea would accept the u.s. offer but this is a major shift in the administration's thinking about how to defuse the threat of war. matt?

>> andrea mitchell this morning, thank you very much. now let's go to savannah.

>> matt, thank you.