US President Donald Trump took to Twitter on Sunday to reject the idea of negotiating with nuclear-armed North Korea, triggering a fresh wave of furious criticism from social media users. Trump's remarks came just a day after his Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington has direct lines of communication with Pyongyang.
"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man," Trump tweeted Sunday morning, using his new nickname for North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. "Save your energy Rex, we'll do what has to be done!"
Trump's latest alarming tweets come amid escalating tensions and rhetoric between the US and North Korea as the East Asian country continues head with its nuclear weapon development and intercontinental ballistic missile tests.
Last month at the UN, Trump threatened that the US may be forced to "totally destroy" North Korea. In response, Kim Jong-un called the US president "mentally deranged" and said he would "pay dearly" for his fiery maiden statements at the UN General Assembly.
On Sunday afternoon, Trump doubled down on his criticism and accused his predecessors in the Oval Office, presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama, of failing to properly deal with North Korea.
"Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail," Trump tweeted.
Horrified over Trump's latest remarks regarding North Korea, Twitter slammed the president saying "diplomacy should never be abandoned" and called for him to be immediately impeached.
Senator Ben Cardin tweeted it was "unacceptable" for a US president to demean a secretary of state while abroad pursuing diplomacy.
"Either @realDonaldTrump doesn't care or doesn't understand that diplomacy can save the lives of our US troops," one Twitter user wrote. Another said his latest tweets are "proof that Trump is a madman who isn't interested in a peaceful solution to North Korea's nuclear ambitions."
President George W. Bush's White House ethics lawyer, Richard Painter, tweeted: "This cancer on the presidency could be deadly."
Many people also mocked the president over his tweet criticising his predecessors over their "nice" approach to "Rocket Man", pointing out that Kim Jong-un only came to power in December 2011.
"You know he's only been in charge for 6 years, right?" Dan Cullen-Shute, chief executive and founder of Creature of London, tweeted. "You might as well blame Eisenhower, JFK, Jefferson, and the Stay-Puft Marshmellow Man."
"Kim Jong Un was eight years old, twenty five years ago, dotard," Jemaine Clement tweeted.
"They kept the peace, that means what they did worked," Laurence Fuller tweeted.
Many people also urged the president not to dismiss diplomacy while multiple channels of communication are open with North Korean officials. Former Defense Secretary William Perry tweeted: "If diplomacy prevents just one soldier from having to die on the battlefield, it is worth the energy."