Mere political theatre? Or is President Trump ominously telegraphing his next move?
As reported by The Hill, Donald Trump, using what is clearly his favorite mode of communication, told the world on Sunday morning what he told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson about the matter of negotiating with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.
Trump tweeted, “I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man…”
Which was quickly followed by:
“…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Trumps tweets add some confusion to the mix, particularly in the wake of comments Tillerson made the previous day in which he said that the administration was actively communicating with Pyongyang through multiple channels.
“We are probing, so stay tuned,” Tillerson said, in a quote attributed to The New York Times. “We ask, ‘Would you like to talk?’ We have lines of communications to Pyongyang — we’re not in a dark situation, a blackout … . We have a couple, three channels open to Pyongyang.”
“We can talk to them,” he added. “We do talk to them.”
Tillerson also made it clear that the channels are direct, and that the U.S. is not going through a third party, such as China.
As for what Trump meant by his Twitter messages, it’s hard to say. Is he suggesting that the time for talk has passed, and a military option is in the works?
Or is he merely pretending such a consideration is at hand?
With Donald Trump, you just never know.
By Robert G. Yetman, Jr. Editor At Large