Tillerson and Mattis are reportedly trying to hold Trump back from striking North Korea (Source businessinsider.com)
President Donald Trump’s secretaries of state and defense are trying to persuade him not to strike North Korea, while his national security adviser is pushing for a “bloody nose” attack. Rex Tillerson, the secretary of state, has reportedly been key in pushing for peace, but he may be on his way out. A US strike would mean it implicitly trusts that North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un, wouldn’t escalate it into an all-out war that could kill millions. The Trump administration is debating a “bloody nose” attack on North Korea, recent reports say, with the president’s inner circle split and apparently teetering between endorsing a strike and holding out hope for diplomacy. Both The Telegraph and The Wall Street Journal have portrayed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Secretary of Defense James Mattis as trying to caution President Donald Trump against a strike, and the national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, as advocating it.
The reports come after months of mixed messages and dozens of shifts in the US’s stance on North Korea.
The bloody-nose strategy, which calls for a sharp, violent response to some North Korean provocation, puts a lot of weight on the US’s properly calibrating an attack on North Korea and Pyongyang’s reading the limited strike as anything other than the opening salvo of an all-out war.