Trump undermines Tillerson with North Korea comments

Trump undermines Tillerson with North Korea comments

President Donald Trump on Sunday virtually snubbed his own Secretary of State Rex Tillerson for exploring the possibility of a diplomatic option with North Korea over the nuclear issue, telling him bluntly that he is "wasting his time" and that the United States "will do what has to be done".

Asked how he could know whether the North would even contemplate responding to new sanctions by coming to the table, the U.S. envoy said: "We are probing, so stay tuned". At the same time, increased sanctions and diplomatic pressure have done little to force Kim to alter course. China has also maintained some trade with Pyongyang, fueling criticism that such actions were giving North Korea room to breathe under mounting worldwide pressure.

In August, he said the U.S. military was "locked and loaded" ready to deal with North Korea, just hours after his defence secretary tried to cool tensions by saying that diplomatic efforts were succeeding.

Mr Tillerson was speaking during a trip to China - the North's biggest trading partner - to meet President President Xi Jinping and other officials. The US and North Korea have ramped up their rhetoric about one another as Pyongyang continues to develop its nuclear weapons program.

A State Department official told Business Insider on Sunday that though the U.S. has been "probing through our normal channels", North Korean officials have not responded "with any indication that they want to engage in substantive discussions". Among senior Cabinet officials, Tillerson's aversion to such language is shared only by Mattis, who said "we're never out of diplomatic solutions" when he was asked about Trump's tweet.

Millions of young men and 1.22 million women said they wanted sign up to counter the USA since Friday, the Rodong Sinmun newspaper reported.

Iraq suspends worldwide flights to Kurdistan after independence vote
It thanked Ayatollah Sistani for his stances on the need for safeguarding Iraq's national unity and constitutional rule.

Another day, another chapter in the ongoing escalation of tensions between the United States and North Korea.

"Rocket Man" is Trump's nickname for Kim.

The threat that North Korea poses has rapidly escalated in recent weeks.

"I don't see this as an opening at this time", said Ruggiero, who spent more than 17 years in the USA government as an expert in the use of targeted financial measures. Not only the moral ground, but also in a better position to guide negotiations.

Still, Tillerson said the most important thing is to ease the rhetoric.

The secretary of state acknowledged on Saturday that the situation with the rogue nation was "overheated" and said the US' first priority was to calm things down, according to The Washington Post. Obviously it would help for North Korea to stop firing off missiles. Kim responded by calling Trump a "dotard" and warning of the "highest level of hard-line countermeasure in history".

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