Trump says Tillerson is 'wasting his time' trying to negotiate with 'Little Rocket Man'

Dylan Stableford
Senior Editor
President Trump, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. (Photos: AP/Getty)

President Trump tweeted on Sunday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with North Korea and the rogue nuclear nation’s leader, Kim Jong Un.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump wrote on Twitter. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”

Trump’s tweets appeared to undercut the work of his chief diplomat.

At a press conference in Beijing on Saturday, Tillerson told reporters that the United States has established direct lines of communications to Pyongyang in the hopes of coming to “a peaceful resolution” in North Korea.

“We’ve made it clear that we hope to resolve this through talks,” Tillerson said. “I think the most immediate action that we need is to calm things down. They’re a little overheated right now, and I think we need to calm them down first.”

In an address to the U.N. General Assembly last month, Trump warned that if the United States is forced to defend itself from Pyongyang’s nuclear provocations, “we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” the president said.

The speech drew strong rebukes from critics who said the president used the United Nations “as a stage to threaten war.”

Trump’s Sunday morning Twitter diplomacy sparked speculation about Tillerson’s job security.

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations, who once served as an adviser to former Secretary of State Colin Powell, was among many foreign policy experts suggesting Tillerson should resign.

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