Trump to meet with Tillerson, McMaster amid North Korea crisis

Trump to meet with Tillerson, McMaster amid North Korea crisis
© Getty Images

President Trump will meet Friday with Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonHillicon Valley — Blinken unveils new cyber bureau at State Blinken formally announces new State Department cyber bureau Hillicon Valley — TikTok, Snapchat seek to distance themselves from Facebook MORE and national security adviser H.R. McMaster amid the growing North Korea crisis, the White House said. 

The huddle at Trump’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J., comes on top of a previously scheduled meeting between the president and U.N. Ambassador Nikki HaleyNikki HaleyHaley has 'positive' meeting with Trump Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Ex-chief of staff says Trump won't run because he can't be seen as 'loser' MORE

Trump has ramped up his war of words with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over his nuclear program, stoking concern about the possibility of a deadly armed conflict.

ADVERTISEMENT

The president tweeted Friday morning that a U.S. military response is “locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely,” which followed his Thursday claim that warning of “fire and fury” against the rogue nation may not have been “tough enough.” 

But Friday’s meeting is a sign that behind the bellicose rhetoric, Trump continues to weigh diplomatic options. 

Tillerson has expressed openness to negotiations with Pyongyang if the authoritarian regime ceases ballistic missile tests. The Associated Press reported Friday that a U.S. envoy has engaged in back-channel talks with a North Korean representative on tensions between the two nations.  

The top U.S. diplomat, however, has made enemies within the administration over his approach. White House aide Sebastian Gorka knocked Tillerson for offering a softer message than Trump on North Korea. 

In an interview, Gorka said the idea that Tillerson would discuss military affairs is “nonsensical.”