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Trump: China's N.Korea diplomacy appears to have 'no impact on Little Rocket Man'

Trump: China's N.Korea diplomacy appears to have 'no impact on Little Rocket Man'
From Reuters - November 30, 2017

WASHINGTON/MOSCOW (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump dismissed a Chinese diplomatic effort to rein in North Koreas weapons program as a failure on Thursday, while Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Beijing should do more to limit oil supplies to Pyongyang.

In a tweet, Trump delivered another insulting barb against North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, who he called Little Rocket Man and a sick puppy after North Korea test fired its most advanced missile to date on Wednesday.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Washingtons approach was dangerously provocative.

The Chinese envoy, who just returned from North Korea, seems to have had no impact on Little Rocket Man, Trump said on Twitter, a day after speaking with Chinese President Chinese President Xi Jinping and reiterating his call for Beijing to use its leverage against North Korea.

Separately on Thursday, Tillerson welcomed Chinese efforts on North Korea, but said Beijing could do more to limit its oil exports to the country.

The Chinese are doing a lot. We do think they could do more with the oil. Were really asking them to please restrain more of the oil, not cut it off completely, Tillerson said at the State Department. China is North Koreas neighbor and its sole major trading partner.

While Trump has been bellicose at times in rhetoric towards North Korea, Tillerson has persistently held out hopes for a return to dialogue if North Korea shows it is willing to give up its nuclear weapons program.

However, Tillerson may not remain in his job long, with disagreements with Trump over North Korea being one factor. On Thursday, senior Trump administration official said the White House had developed a plan to replace Tillerson with Mike Pompeo, the director of the Central Intelligence Agency.

In spite of Trumps rhetoric and warnings that all options, including military ones, are on the table in dealing with North Korea, his administration has stressed it favors a diplomatic solution to the crisis, which stems from Pyongyangs pursuit of a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States.

Tensions have flared anew after North Korea said it had successfully tested a new intercontinental ballistic missile on Wednesday in a breakthrough that put the U.S. mainland within range of its nuclear weapons.

Trump has pledged more sanctions in response to the latesttest and at an emergency U.N. Security Council meeting late Wednesday, the United States warned North Koreas leadership would be utterly destroyed if war were to break out.

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