Trump to Tillerson: “Save your energy" on North Korean Diplomacy
President Donald Trump knocked down possibilities of diplomatic negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Twitter Sunday morning.
Only a day after State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert announced that the U.S. and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson had “several open [diplomatic] channels” with North Korea, Trump tweeted, “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done.”
As the U.S. and North Korea intensifies their threats against one another, Tillerson has remained steadfast that the ultimate goal of any negotiation with North Korea would be complete denuclearization. During his trip to meet senior officials in Beijing on Saturday, Tillerson disclosed that “the [State Department] had a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang”, “talks to them” and was optimistic that traditional diplomacy could help resolve North Korea’s increasingly belligerent actions.
"We are seeing from what we can observe, and the Chinese are telling us, that it is having some effect, and [the Chinese] have a pretty close view of it," Tillerson said. "But I also think it's the uniform voice coming from the international community.”
The debate on whether to restart talks and negotiations with North Korea has plagued Obama, Bush and Clinton’s administrations and continues to remain unsolved within the international community.
Senator Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” Sunday that “Tillerson understands that every intelligence agency we have says there’s no amount of economic pressure you put on North Korea to get them to stop this program because they view this as their survival.”
However, Trump took on a completely different tone in a chain of tweets Sunday, continuing, “Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.”
This is not the first time Trump has publicly condemned or undermined the efforts of senior officials within his own administration. When Tillerson signed a counter-terrorism agreement with Qatar in June and said, "No one's hands are clean here," Trump lashed out at Qatar for financing terrorism.
Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) critiqued Trump’s Sunday tweet, warning that Trump’s markedly different tone to the State Department “not only embarrasses Rex Tillerson, it confuses Americans & world leaders.”