Even as Secretary of State Rex Tillerson Dials Back
President Donald Trump has once again doubled down on his warning against North Korea.
In his usual morning round of tweets, the commander in chief wrote that “military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong Un will find another path!”
That comes after the U.S. president said in an ad-libbed statement that North Korea would be met with “fire and fury” if it continued to threaten the U.S.. Pyongyang returned the warning, saying that it is considering attacking a U.S. military base in Guam. The back-and-forth, which unsettled global markets, prompted Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to dial back on Trump’s statement, saying, “nothing that I have seen and nothing that I know of would indicate that the situation has dramatically changed in the last 24 hours.”
Defense Secretary James Mattis, meanwhile, warned Thursday that war with North Korea would be “catastrophic” and said that diplomacy is “gaining traction.”
Attempts to reassure Americans were, however, undercut when the President pointed to his “fire and fury” comment late Thursday and said that “if anything, that statement wasn’t tough enough.”
Wall Street at least took that as a sign of even more geopolitical instability. Markets fell once again after that comment.
Some 60 House Democrats Thursday called for Tillerson to rein in Trump’s comments.