Trump again tweets cryptic threats about North Korea

Los Angeles Times Politics 12 months ago

North Korean, South Korean soldiers face to face
(Associated Press)

President Trump on Saturday sent new tweets hinting at military action against North Korea, keeping alive tensions with the isolated nation and distancing himself further from his top aides who favor diplomacy.

"Only one thing will work" in dealing with nuclear-armed North Korea, the president wrote -- without further clarification.

"Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid," he said. It was not clear what money he was talking about.

That approach, he wrote in a follow-up tweet, "hasn't worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!"

Saturday's tweets, posted soon after Trump had spent an afternoon at his Virginia golf club near Washington, made for a second consecutive weekend in which he has taken to Twitter with belligerent messages that contradict his top military and diplomatic advisers, who have advocated a more cautious approach.

Last weekend, Trump wrote as if to his Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, saying that he was "wasting his time" by trying to talk to the government of North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to find a peaceful solution to what has become something of a potential nuclear stand-off.

The president's postings a week ago, just a day after Tillerson, in China, had said the United States had direct contacts with North Korea to "probe" its willingness to negotiate, were widely seen in both parties as a humiliation of the secretary of state, and not the first. Tillerson subsequently appeared before television cameras at the State Department to deny that he has threatened to resign.

The dispute between Trump and Tillerson over North Korea, among other issues, has severely strained relations within the cabinet. 

Kim has launched half a dozen nuclear tests and verbally threatened allies like Japan as well as U.S. territory. 

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