Tillerson: Trump Spoke 'Language That Kim Jong Un Would Understand'

Claudine Rigal
Août 15, 2017

Gorka has faced controversy over his views on Islam.

En route to the USA island territory of Guam early Thursday Tillerson said that a threat military force from President Donald Trump the day before didn't carry any weight.

Gorka then used an anecdote involving a Holocaust survivor to suggest North Korea's threats against the USA was somehow similar to that posed against Jews by the Nazis in the Second World War. On Tuesday, Trump asserted that he will respond with "fire and fury" to North Korea, which he previously said "is behaving in a very risky manner, and something will have to be done about it.and probably dealt with rapidly".

Asked by the BBC whether people should listen to Tillerson or to Trump, Gorka said "you should listen to the president".

To that end, Mr Tillerson said there was still an off-ramp available to Pyongyang: A return to negotiations with the U.S., a step that Mr Tillerson has previously said can happen only if Kim Jong Un's government gives up its nuclear aspirations, starting with an extended pause in missile tests.

Instead, Tillerson put the Korean stand-off center stage following USA concerns after Pyongyang's two intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) tests last month showed it had the capacity to hit the US mainland. The White House wouldn't say, other than to point to an executive order Trump signed in his first days in office commissioning a review to ensure the US nuclear deterrent is "modern, robust, flexible, resilient, ready" and tailored for 21st century threats.

That letter also asked about steps to address humanitarian issues such as the reunification of Korean families separated by the armistice that concluded the Korean War, and the return of remains of US service members left in North Korea after the war.

In a series of tweets on Wednesday, Trump boasted about the strength of the U.S. nuclear arsenal, saying the country's nuclear weapons are "more powerful than ever", in a fresh warning to North Korea.

Tillerson has said negotiations with the North Korean government could happen as long as Pyongyang temporarily stops its missile tests.

The lawmakers said they were grateful that Tillerson has said the United States does not seek war or a change in regime in North Korea.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the White House, State Department and Pentagon are all in agreement. "Secretary Tillerson has not spoken about USA military capabilities", she said.

Gorka characterized Tillerson's input on military matters as "nonsensical".

During the radio interview, Gorka also pushed back on more levelheaded comments by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson that Americans should "sleep well at night" and "have no concerns" over the the threat of attacks from North Korea.

Some Congress members said messages have been streaming in from their constituents over the past week during the president's war of words with North Korea about whether they should fear a nuclear strike. "And he has done so unequivocally", said Gorka.

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