Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Hi-Tech | By Preston Stone

Japan surprised at Tillerson's dismissal as USA secretary of state

Japan surprised at Tillerson's dismissal as USA secretary of state

Patrick Cronin, senior director of the Asia-Pacific Security Program at the Center for a New American Security, notes that one of Pompeo's first acts as CIA director was to revamp the way intelligence was collected on North Korea.

Trump on Tuesday sacked his top diplomat Rex Tillerson, who had frequently been at odds with him, and named current Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) chief Mike Pompeo as Secretary-designate.

The official said Trump works well with Pompeo, a former Republican congressman from Kansas, and wanted him in place before the US president's planned talks with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, and trade negotiations. The president frequently complained to his West Wing advisers about Tillerson, and Tillerson once reportedly called Trump a "moron" behind his back.

In other words, Mr Tillerson knew how to negotiate with Mr Putin and his inner circle, but chose not to demonstrate that skill as secretary of state.

Beleaguered secretary of state Rex Tillerson, who was on Tuesday fired on by US President Donald Trump, said he would delegate his responsibilities to his deputy and would step down by end of this month.

"We got along actually quite well but we disagreed on things", Trump told reporters.

"We are now seeing President Trump surround himself with people who are like-minded", Blaxland said. "When you look at the Iran deal: I think it's bad, I guess he thought it was okay. I want to either break it or do something and he felt a little bit differently, so we were not really thinking the same".

"The secretary will miss his colleagues at the Department of State and enjoyed working together with the Department of Defense in an uncommonly robust relationship", he added, in a nod to Tillerson's close working relationship with Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., on draft legislation to alter what they view as flaws in the deal, praised Pompeo's nomination to be secretary of state.

Trump on Tuesday singled out the Iran nuclear deal as one of the main differences he had with Tillerson.

Stocks were lower in the afternoon, shaking off early gains on data showing slowing consumer price inflation, on uncertainty about Tillerson's dismissal and replacement by Pompeo. "There's nobody to be a check and balance on Trump". He said Trump called him hours after he tweeted about him being fired.

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Preparing to leave the state department, Tillerson said he was committed to an orderly and smooth transition.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., issued a statement thanking Tillerson and welcoming Pompeo to the new position.

"Tillerson's replacement by. Pompeo, who is known as a political partisan and an opponent of the Iran agreement, raises the prospect of the collapse of that deal, and increases the possibility that the administration might soon face not one, but two nuclear crises", he said.

Speaking to a roundtable of reporters in 2014, as the Obama administration and allies entered the final days of negotiations, Pompeo said that it would take "under 2,000 sorties to destroy the Iranian nuclear capacity".

For months it has been perceived that Tillerson, who is younger than Trump but appears older, has been unhappy in his position.

A senior White House official said Trump wanted to reshuffle his team with a view to launching talks with North Korea, following last week's spectacular announcement that he plans to meet Kim Jong Un by the end of May.

But a day later, Trump bluntly dismissed Tillerson's efforts. These two subjects - Ukraine and Syria - have dominated Mr Tillerson's rhetoric on Russian Federation during his tenure as secretary of state.

Pompeo has advocated for military strikes against Iran while lobbying hard against the nuclear deal with Tehran.

On Monday, Tillerson blamed Russia for the poisonings in England of a former Russian double agent and his daughter.

Over the weekend, Pompeo said the U.S. would not make any concessions ahead of potential talks, but that North Korea must stand by its offers to halt nuclear and missile testing as they take place, allow the continuation of joint military exercises between the USA and South Korea, and leave denuclearization open for negotiation.

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