It seems that the US President does not support his Secretary of State’s efforts at peaceful negotiations with North Korea.
Donald Trump told Rex Tillerson that he is “wasting his time” by 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
Trump’s comments appear to undercut the work of his chief diplomat despite the escalating tensions between Washington and Pyongyang.
Press TV reports:
Trump’s remarks came one day after Tillerson announced that the Trump administration has opened “lines of communication” with the North Korean government and has sought potential discussions about its missile and nuclear tests.
“We have lines of communication with Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout, we have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang,” the top US diplomat told reporters after he held talks with Chinese officials in Beijing on Saturday.
Tillerson said the US State Department is “probing” through direct channels with Pyongyang whether Kim would be open to talks and under what conditions. “We ask, Would you like to talk?”
Tillerson was in China to meet President Xi Jinping in order to make preparations for Trump’s state visit to Beijing in November.
Trump has taken an increasingly hostile stance toward Pyongyang over its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests. In a speech to the UN General Assembly two weeks ago, the US president threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary.
In return, Kim called Trump a “mentally deranged dotard” and threatened to “tame him with fire.”
Meanwhile, North Korea has continued testing missiles and is threatening to test a hydrogen bomb in the Pacific Ocean and to shoot down US military aircraft flying near its airspace.