Trump and Tillerson Can’t Make Up Their Minds on North Korea

In just two days, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson changed his tune on the US response to North Korea. On Thursday he’s saying that North Korea has nothing to fear from the United States: Tillerson says NKorea ‘need not fear’ United States

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called on North Korea on Thursday to abandon its nuclear and ballistic missile programs, saying the isolated nation “need not fear” the United States.

Tillerson made that declaration after meeting Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, where they discussed possible new approaches in dealing with Pyongyang.

He said 20 years of U.S. diplomatic and other efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize have failed, but gave no specifics about how the Trump administration, which is currently doing a policy review, would tackle the issue. Tillerson described the weapons programs as “dangerous and unlawful.”

And yes, the whole world is pretty much in agreement that the current North Korean direction with nuclear weapons and missile delivery systems is unlawful. It even seemed like China was getting ready to make some efforts to rein in Pyongyang and work with the world community to defuse the situation.

But then on Friday, Secretary Tillerson goes off in another direction entirely: Tillerson: Use of pre-emptive force an option with NKorea.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Friday it may be necessary to take pre-emptive military action against North Korea if the threat from their weapons program reaches a level “that we believe requires action.”

Tillerson outlined a tougher strategy to confront North Korea’s nuclear threat after visiting the world’s most heavily armed border near the tense buffer zone between the rivals Koreas. He also closed the door on talks with Pyongyang unless it denuclearizes and gives up its weapons of mass destruction.

Asked about the possibility of using military force, Tillerson told a news conference in the South Korean capital, “all of the options are on the table.”

It’s bi-polar foreign policy like this that can get all of us killed. And President Trump’s proposed cuts to the State Department aren’t going to help either. We can’t afford to lose anymore career State Department employees or diplomatic channels or programs. Diplomacy is far cheaper than bullets…


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3 thoughts on “Trump and Tillerson Can’t Make Up Their Minds on North Korea

  1. What did Ike do?? threatened to Nuke them, the Chinese army, at Kaesong.

    1. Bob. I apparently didn’t explain this well enough. I wasn’t commenting on either US policy…I was commenting on the fact that Secretary Tillerson changed his mind on North Korean policy very PUBLICALLY within 24 hours. That is no way to run a State Department.

  2. Both Tillerson and Trump are OJT; they need to talk to some past officials with experience.

    Talking with North Korea is a waste of time. China is the one that can best help us to convince Onehunglow of the “final” consequence of his wreck less and threatening acts.

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