President Donald Trump on Wednesday expressed frustration that diplomatic efforts with North Korea are not yielding results, tweeting that "talking is not the answer!" after the reclusive country launched its latest missile test earlier this week.
“The U.S. has been talking to North Korea, and paying them extortion money, for 25 years,” he wrote. “Talking is not the answer!”
Trump didn’t explain how the U.S. has supposedly paid extortion funds to North Korea, but the U.S. has provided international aid assistance to the country in the past.
Despite Trump’s strong words on Wednesday, the president’s secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, and defense secretary, James Mattis, have stressed that the best way to de-escalate the tension and push North Korea to denuclearize is through diplomacy and economic pressure.
On Wednesday, Mattis said that the U.S. has not run out of diplomatic solutions, when asked by a reporter about Trump's latest tweet.
"We're never out of diplomatic solutions. We continue to work together and [South Korean Minister of Defense Song Young-moo] and I share responsibility to provide for the protection of our nation, our populations ,and our interests," Mattis said, according to a pool report. "Which is what we are here to discuss today. And look for all the areas we can collaborate — there is already very strong collaboration, we always look for more, we are never complacent."
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