Tillerson on North Korea: Diplomacy will continue 'until the first bomb drops'

On October 4, NBC News reported that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson almost resigned over the summer following a series of tense moments with President Trump.

"You can not publicly castrate your own secretary of state without giving yourself that binary choice", Corker said Friday.

Tension between the two countries has grown exponentially due to the nuclear tests that North Korea has carried out in recent months, and which have been interpreted as a clear threat not only to the United States but also to its main allies in the area, South Korea and Japan.

Trump, who was condemned worldwide for refusing to certify the nuclear deal with the "fanatical regime" in Iran on Friday, tweeted two weeks ago to say Tillerson was "wasting his time" by trying to negotiate with North Korea and told him to "save your energy".

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Sunday ducked, danced and sidestepped the question of whether he truly called President Donald Trump a "moron", dismissing the brouhaha as the "petty stuff" of Washington.

"I checked. I'm fully intact".


But despite Tillerson's efforts to move beyond the story, it has created a perception among many in Washington that the clash with Trump has weakened the secretary of state's voice on the world stage.

Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker, a Republican who has become a vocal critic of the president, made the castration analogy last week to The Washington Post. The secretary of state insisted that he has a strong working relationship with the president without any name-calling.

She said she was happy being in NY, where the United Nations is based, and said that from what she has observed Trump and Tillerson have a constructive relationship.

Tillerson pushed back at that notion on CNN's State of the Union, saying: "I think what North Korea should take away from this decision is that the United States will expect a very demanding agreement with North Korea". He makes a decision, there's a mutual respect, and they go forward.

And then he danced around it: "I'm not dignifying the question with an answer, Jake".

"The president speaks for himself", Tillerson said at the time.


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