President Donald Trump said he told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson he’s “wasting his time’’ trying to negotiate with North Korea about its nuclear program, a day after Tillerson acknowledged for the first time that the U.S. is communicating with the rogue nation.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump posted Sunday to his 39.7 million followers on Twitter, using his pejorative nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Trump, who’s threatened to destroy North Korea if provoked, and has repeatedly said military options are on the table to deal with the country’s expanding nuclear weapons program, made the comments after Tillerson said the U.S. is testing Pyongyang’s appetite for negotiations.
“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson told reporters on Saturday after meeting Chinese officials in Beijing. “We can talk to them, we do talk to them directly, through our own channels,” adding that the U.S. has “a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang.”
Trump hasn’t said whether he’s also instructed Tillerson to stop negotiations with North Korea.
— With assistance by Nick Wadhams