US President Donald Trump has warned his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that negotiations with North Korea were a “waste of time” and said he “won’t fail” on a front where three of his predecessors Bill Clinton, George W Bush and Barack Obama failed.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Trump said in a series of tweets.
“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,” Trump said.
Trump had earlier also referred to the North Korean leader as ‘Rocket Man’. In his tweets, Trump went public in differing with Tillerson on having talks with North Korea.
Tillerson who is in China had said that the US was in direct communication with North Korea as part of their effort to reduce tension.
“The whole situation is a bit overheated right now. If North Korea would stop firing its missiles, that would calm things down a lot,” Tillerson had said on Saturday.
Soon his spokesperson Heather Nauert said North Korean officials have shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearisation.
In the past few weeks, Trump has said that he is open to military option, even though it is not his preferred choice.
Following Trump’s tweets, mainstream American media prominently displayed the differences between the president and his secretary of state.
“Trump undercuts Tillerson,” said a headline by The Washington Post.
Meanwhile, The New York Times reported that “President Trump seemed to undercut Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, belittling the prospect of a diplomatic resolution to the crisis with North Korea”.
“Trump rejects dialogue with North Korea,” reported The Wall Street Journal.
In an interview to NBC News, Senator Bob Corker, Chairman of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee favoured stepping up against North Korea.
“I mean, we should step it up. I mean, you know, we’re moving to a place where we’re going to end up with a binary choice soon,” he said.
“I don’t think we’re cornering ourselves. But if we don’t ramp up the diplomatic side, it’s possible that we end up cornered,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)