“It takes a combined message there if we’re going to get effective movement out of the regime in North Korea. I think the president’s made it clear he prefers a diplomatic solution,” Mr. Tillerson said, standing next to Mr. Trump. “What the president’s doing is trying to support our efforts by ensuring North Korea understands what the stakes are.”
Still, even as Mr. Trump seemed to be slightly lowering the temperature with North Korea, he opened a new front by volunteering that he was contemplating the use of force in Venezuela. The government of President Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela has moved to shut down the opposition-controlled Parliament after a fraud-plagued referendum amid a spiraling economic crisis.
“Venezuela is not very far away and the people are suffering and they’re dying,” Mr. Trump said. “We have many options for Venezuela, including a possible military option if necessary.”
Just a day earlier, Mr. Maduro told delegates in Caracas he wanted to meet with Mr. Trump, possibly at the annual United Nations General Assembly in New York next month.
“Mr. Donald Trump, here is my hand,” Mr. Maduro said on Thursday. The Trump administration has called Mr. Maduro a dictator.
The president’s repeated threats against North Korea, starting with his “fire and fury” warning earlier in the week, have fueled deep anxiety in Asia and elsewhere in the world.
Australia’s prime minister, Malcolm Turnbull, said, “We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the United States,” but his New Zealand counterpart, Bill English, hedged, saying his country would consider its options “on its merits.”
In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed disapproval of Mr. Trump’s approach. “I consider an escalation of rhetoric the wrong answer,” she said, adding, “I do not see a military…