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Trump told top U.S. diplomat to not even bother talking to North Korea
President Trump tweeted Sunday that he told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to not even bother trying to negotiate with North Korea. Meanwhile, Tillerson announced from China that three new channels for direct U.S.-North Korean negotiations are open if North Korea is willing to use them.
By Josh Curlee
Contributor
Feb 22, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is working quietly to attempt negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Kim's weapons programs, but his boss thinks he is wasting his time. President Trump tweeted Sunday that he told Tillerson to pack up and come home.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man," Trump posted to Twitter. Rocket Man is his demeaning name for Kim. He followed with: "Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"

This declaration marks another reversal for Trump from the positions he touted on the campaign trail. As a candidate, Trump said that he would be open to "one-on-one" negotiations with the North Korean dictator. Even his rival Hillary Clinton was on the record as opposing direct talks.

Trump repeated his wish for direct negotiations last month following his enactment of new sanctions on Kim' regime. He argued that diplomacy is still possible, asking: "Why not?"

A month later, only Tillerson is publicly expressing hope for negotiations bearing fruit. Tillerson said Saturday while in China that at least three channels for direct talks are open if North Korea is willing to use them. He cautioned that North Korean officials had not shown any interest in dialogue yet but that U.S. diplomats will continue to try to engage the regime and reduce the risk of an armed conflict.

However, North Korean officials have also spoken dimly about the prospects for resolution through talks. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said to the UN General Assembly recently that a North Korean missile attack against the United States has become "inevitable" due to Trump's bellicose rhetoric.