Ex-defense secretary: Diplomacy is worth it if it saves one soldier's life

Ex-defense secretary: Diplomacy is worth it if it saves one soldier's life
© Getty Images

Former Defense Secretary William Perry appeared to hit back at President Trump for saying Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonFormer WH adviser: Trump will want to rejoin Paris climate pact by 2020 Why the US should lead on protecting Rohingya Muslims 'Bolivarian Diaspora' can no longer be ignored MORE was “wasting his time” by negotiating with North Korea.

“If diplomacy prevents just one soldier from having to die on the battlefield, it is worth the energy,” Perry, who served under former President Clinton, tweeted Sunday.




Perry’s message came the same day as Trump's tweets undermining his own State Department’s talks with North Korea.

The previous day, Tillerson had said that the State Department had opened multiple channels of communication with North Korean officials.

“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted Sunday, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“…Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!” Trump added.

“Being nice to Rocket Man hasn’t worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won’t fail,” Trump tweeted later the same day.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert also seemed to issue a statement in response to Trump’s comments, tweeting Sunday that “diplomatic channels are open for [Kim Jong Un] for now. They won’t be open forever.”