President Donald Trump does not appear to be placing a lot of faith in diplomatic solutions to the growing North Korea problems. The President's rather cryptic remark that the U.S. will do 'what has to be done' is sending out signals that he is somewhat skeptical about the efforts by U.S. diplomats to diffuse what is becoming an increasingly alarming situation indeed.
Raises questions about diplomat outreach
In a turn of events that left many wondering what exactly the Presided was trying to convey, he put out a series of tweets raising questions after news broke out about the U.S. diplomats' outreach in Pyongyang. That the diplomats have taken this step became public knowledge only over the weekend. Speaking at the UN, Trump also stated that the U.S. may be pushed to a position where it has to take serious action against North Korea to the extent of 'totally destroying' it. Kim Jong Un has responded to the President's thinly veiled threat by simply escalating missile testing in North Korea.
Tillerson talks about 'calming' the situation
In sharp contrast, the President's aggressive stance on the issue, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State has stated that his primary focus is on 'calming things down' as soon as possible. He was responding to the news that missile testing is being carried out at a heightened pace in North Korea. He also said that the U.S. has a direct channel of communication with Pyongyang and hinted that this channel is being used to soothe ruffled feathers and diffuse the situation. He underlined the fact that his team is 'not in the dark' about development in the situation and categorically stated that talks are already going on.
Trump feels Tillerson is 'wasting time'
However, all of this diplomacy went to waste after the President put out a tweet on Sunday saying how he has been telling Tillerson that he is 'wasting his time' trying to negotiate with Kim Jong Un. His reference to the North Korean leader as 'Little Rocket man' has not gone unnoticed either. Whether he was deliberately trying to undermine the diplomatic efforts or this was a carefully planned strategy to send out mixed signals is not known. However, there really is no doubt that Trump believes that diplomacy is not an effective or valid response here and that the situation warrants a nondiplomatic action.