President Donald Trump, responding to North Korea’s latest missile launch, tweeted this morning that talking to North Korea is “not the answer.”
“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” he wrote.
The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2017
The president’s stance seems to conflict with comments made by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday, in which he advocated for continued diplomacy.
“We’re going to continue our peaceful pressure campaign, as I have described it, working with allies, working with China as well, to see if we can bring the regime in Pyongyang to the negotiating table with a view to begin a dialogue on a different future for the Korean Peninsula and for North Korea,” Tillerson said in an interview with Fox News.
In May, Trump himself told Reuters that he “would have no problem speaking to” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to deter further development of the country’s nuclear program.
On Monday, North Korea launched a missile that flew over Japan — a challenge to Trump’s Aug. 8 warning to Pyongyang that any further threats to the U.S. would be met with “fire and fury.” Two days later he said, “Maybe that statement wasn’t tough enough.”
In a statement on Tuesday, the president said, “All options are on the table” when it comes to North Korea.
“The world has received North Korea’s latest message loud and clear: This regime has signaled its contempt for its neighbors, for all members of the United Nations and for minimum standards of acceptable international behavior,” Trump said. [/restrict]