US State Secretary Rex Tillerson says that Washington will continue its diplomatic efforts to solve the North Korean crisis “until first bomb drops”.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union on Sunday, Tillerson told host Jake Tapper that President Donald Trump wants to resolve the Korean Peninsula crisis “diplomatically.”
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Tillerson says Trump wants diplomacy in N. Korea: “Diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops” https://t.co/es8NqLurrJ
— CNN (@CNN) October 15, 2017
His comments are in stark contrast to those tweeted by Donald Trump earlier this month, when he said that Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. He tweeted that Tillerson should “save his energy” and let Washington “do what has to be done.”
…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
The Telegraph reports:
The mixed messaging has raised fears the world was inching towards war by raising the chance for miscalculation of misunderstanding with North Korea
On Sunday Mr Tillerson insisted there was no confusion or division within the administration.
“The president has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. He is not seeking to go to war,” he told CNN.
“He has made it clear to me to continue our diplomatic efforts – which we are. As I’ve told others, those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”
North Korea has made no secret that its weapons programme is focused on building inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of delivering a nuclear payload to the US mainland.
That threat has brought several sets of new sanctions in recent weeks and frantic diplomatic activity.