US president Donald Trump on Sunday diverged from the US State Department and said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was “wasting him time” opening up talks with the North Korean regime.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
The president added that being nice to Kim “hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail.”
The comments came after Tillerson told reporters in Beijing on Saturday that the US has a direct line of communication open with Pyongyang over North Korea’s nuclear tests. “We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout,” Tillerson said.
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.
A State Department official told Business Insider on Sunday that though the US has been “probing through our normal channels,” North Korean officials have not responded “with any indication that they want to engage in substantive discussions.”
The threat that North Korea poses has rapidly escalated in recent weeks. The rogue nation fired a missile over Japan a few weeks ago for the second time in two months.
Earlier this month, North Korea conducted its sixth and most powerful nuclear test, one the country said was a hydrogen bomb.
Trump ramped up his rhetoric against North Korea when the United Nations General Assembly convened on September 23, saying that “rocket man” Kim Jong Un was on a “suicide mission,” and that if he did not back down, the US would “have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”
Kim responded by saying he would “surely and definitely tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire.” North Korea’s foreign minister also said that Trump’s comments made the possibility of a missile attack on the US mainland “all the more inevitable.”
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