Despite his remarks on Twitter over the weekend, President Trump is still backing the pursuit of a diplomatic end to heightening tensions with Kim Jong un’s regime in North Korea, according to Secretary of Defense James Mattis.
“President Trump’s guidance to both Secretary Tillerson and me has been very clear that we would pursue the diplomatic effort,” Mattis told the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday.
I think the president dispatching Secretary Tillerson to Beijing here within the past several days to carry messages and to look at the way we can work with them is the most accurate answer to your question, that in fact this is part of a whole of government, integrated effort that we have underway right now,” Mattis said.
President Trump raised eyebrows on Sunday when he released a series of tweets seeming to indicate that, in his opinion, diplomatic efforts between the United States and North Korea were a lost cause.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…” the President wrote on Twitter, adding, “…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was asked to address the president’s remarks while working to engage in a dialogue with North Korea from Beijing, in which he referred to the entire situation as “overheated.”