On the North Korea rhetoric, US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson said Sunday that diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis “will continue until the first bomb drops.”
Tillerson’s statement comes on the heel of President Trump’s seemingly closed options to a diplomatic approach to curb Kim Jong united’s defiance. Trump, in series of tweet a fortnight ago, said Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with “Little Rocket Man” a mocking nickname he used to describe the communist nation’s leader during the UN general assembly speech last month.
“I think he does want to be clear with Kim Jong Un and that regime in North Korea that he has military preparations ready to go and he has those military options on the table. And we have spent substantial time actually perfecting those,” Tillerson told CNN’s ” State of the Union.”
“But be clear: The president has also made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. He’s not seeking to go to war,” Tillerson said.
Trump also told the U.N. General Assembly last month that if the U.S. is “forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.” Trump also tweeted that Korea’s leadership “won’t be around much longer” if it continued its provocations, a declaration that led the North’s foreign minister to assert that Trump had “declared war on our country.”
However, the recently mixed intents from the President and his comrade has spurred analysts to speculate about whether the president and his top diplomat were playing “good cop, bad cop” with North Korea.
“Rest assured that the Chinese are not confused in any way what the American policy towards North Korea (is) or what our actions and efforts are directed at,” Tillerson said.
When asked if Trump’s tweets undermined his, the Tillerson said: “I think what the president is doing is he’s trying to motivate action on a number of people’s part, in particular, the regime in North Korea. I think he does want to be clear with Kim Jong Un and that regime in North Korea that he has military preparations ready to go and he has those military options on the table and we have spent substantial time perfecting those.”
He added that Trump “has made it clear to me to continue my diplomatic efforts, which we are, and I’ve told others those diplomatic efforts will continue until the first bomb drops.”