Rex Tillerson quickly reversed a more conciliatory course and fell back to the neoconservative, war-mongering line against North Korea. From Antonius Aquinas at theburningplatform.com:
After nearly a year of gaffes, provocations, threats, bombings, destabilizing arms deals, and, most recently, the disastrous decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, the sanest member of the Trump Administration, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, appeared to have begun a new and promising diplomatic direction in relations with tiny, beleaguered North Korea.
In a surprising statement given to a Washington think tank on December 12, Secretary Tillerson said:
We are ready to talk anytime North Korea would like to talk. We are ready to have the first meeting without preconditions. Let’s just meet. We can talk about the weather if you want. We can talk about whether its going to be a square table or a round table if that’s what you’re excited about. And then we can begin to lay out a road map.*
He perceptively added that it was “unrealistic” for North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program.
Tillerson’s reasonable approach, however, did not sit very well with either his boss or the blood thirsty war hawks within the Administration who now have enough ammunition to force his removal, probably after the first of the year. One of Trump’s top aides reportedly said Tillerson “hasn’t learned his lesson.”**
A couple of days later, and probably after a tongue lashing by the Chief Executive, Tillerson had taken back his earlier statement and was once again pushing the hardcore, neocon line declaring: “North Korea must earn its way back to the table. The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved.”***