In an apparent reversal from his Tuesday statement on North Korea, President Donald Trump on Wednesday morning indicated he is no longer willing to engage in diplomatic talks with the isolated nation.
The President complained on Twitter about the state of talks with North Korea and declared that “talking is not the answer!”
The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years. Talking is not the answer!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 30, 2017
Trump’s tweet follows a more measured statement issued by the White House on Tuesday, after North Korea fired a missile over Japan. In that statement, Trump said that “all options are on the table,” but he’s now suggesting that he’s against talks.
Over the past month, Trump has escalated his rhetoric regarding North Korea as the country signals that it’s making progress toward becoming a nuclear power. Trump’s own fiery comments on North Korea often have been countered by more measured statements form other members of his administration, only to be reversed by Trump again shortly afterward.
Following reports earlier in August that North Korea had developed a nuclear warhead small enough to fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump warned in off-the-cuff remarks that advancements in North Korea’s nuclear capabilities would “be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen.” Trump reportedly improvised those comments and had not run the language by his advisers beforehand.
Following the “fire and fury” remarks, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson tried to downplay Trump’s aggressive rhetoric and North Korea’s subsequent threat, telling Americans that the situation between the two countries had not changed.
Reports also surfaced around that time that the U.S. had been engaged in quiet talks with North Korea for several months. Trump’s Wednesday morning tweet indicates that if he has it his way, however, those talks would not continue.