United States (US) President Donald Trump said negotiating with North Korea over its nuclear program would be a waste of time Sunday after it emerged that Washington had channels of contact with Pyongyang.
Only hours after his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed that US officials were in touch with North Korean counterparts, Trump undercut his top diplomat by declaring on Twitter that any talks would be futile.
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” he said, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Speaking on Saturday after talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Tillerson said that US officials had “two or three” channels of communication with North Korea despite an escalating war of words between their respective leaders.
Asked how he could know whether the North would even contemplate coming to the table, Tillerson told reporters in Beijing: “We are probing, so stay tuned.”
“We have lines of communication with Pyongyang. We’re not in a dark situation, a blackout, we have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang.”