President Trump said on Sunday he told Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to waste his time trying to negotiate with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong Un — an extraordinary public undercutting of the top American diplomat.
The president's stunning contradiction of Tillerson, amid high tensions with North Korea over its nuclear and ballistics programs, came in the form of tweets sent from his New Jersey golf resort just a day after Tillerson, in China, said the United States has direct contacts in North Korea and is "probing" for negotiations.
Trump's derisive nickname for the North Korean leader — "Little Rocket Man" — has previously drawn an angry response from the government in Pyongyang. And the president's implied threat — "We'll do what has to be done!" — is the latest in a series of saber-rattling remarks that have raised anxieties among not only U.S. allies in Asia, but the American public as well.