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Tillerson: North Korea diplomacy continues until 1st ‘bomb drops’

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US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes part in a joint press conference with Japan's Foreign Minister Taro Kono and Defense Minister Itsunori Onodera at the State Department on August 17, 2017 in Washington, DC. / AFP PHOTO / MANDEL NGAN

WASHINGTON — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says diplomatic efforts aimed at resolving the North Korean crisis “will continue until the first bomb drops.”

But it was only recently that President Donald Trump tweeted that Tillerson was “wasting his time” trying to negotiate with the leader of the nuclear-armed nation.

Tillerson says in a television interview that President Trump “has made clear to me that he wants this solved diplomatically. He is not seeking to go to war.”

Mixed messaging from Washington has raised concerns about the potential for miscalculation amid the increasingly bellicose exchange of words by President Trump and Kim.

North Korea has launched missiles that potentially can strike the U.S. mainland and recently conducted its largest ever underground nuclear explosion. It’s threatened to explode another nuclear bomb above the Pacific.

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