US President Donald Trump said Saturday that diplomatic efforts with North Korea have consistently failed, adding that “only one thing will work.”
Trump has engaged in an escalating war of words with North Korean strongman Kim Jong-Un, trading insults amid rising tensions between the two nuclear-armed rivals.
“Presidents and their administrations have been talking to North Korea for 25 years, agreements made and massive amounts of money paid,” Trump tweeted.
It “hasn’t worked, agreements violated before the ink was dry, makings fools of U.S. negotiators. Sorry, but only one thing will work!”
Trump returned to the theme when he appeared on former governor Mike Huckabee’s show on Trinity Broadcasting Network television on Saturday, blaming previous administrations for not having “adequately addressed” the issue before.
This “should have been handled 25 years ago, it should have been handled 10 years ago, it should have been handled during the Obama administration,” the president said, referring to his Democratic predecessor Barack Obama.
In recent days, as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson flew home from meeting with top Chinese officials, Trump tweeted that his envoy was “wasting his time” in trying to probe North Korea’s willingness to talk.
The message came after Tillerson had revealed there were backchannels between US and North Korean officials.
Secretary of Defense James Mattis later expressed support for the diplomatic track in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee.
“The Defense Department supports fully Secretary Tillerson’s efforts to find a diplomatic solution, but remains focused on defense of the United States and our allies,” Mattis said.
In his debut speech at the United Nations General Assembly, Trump threatened to “totally destroy” North Korea if it threatens the US or any of its allies, deriding Kim as “Rocket Man” and warning he is on a “suicide mission.”
Kim responded by calling Trump a “mentally deranged dotard.”