Stocks shrug off trade tensions, Tillerson exit

Stocks shrug off trade tensions, Tillerson exit

"It is our joint understanding with the United States that strong cooperation be maintained through close communication between South Korea and the United States regardless of US personnel changes as there are important issues, including the North Korea nuclear issue, the US-South Korea alliance and trade matters", South Korea's Foreign Ministry said.

"I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful secretary of state, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with little rocket man", Mr Trump wrote on Twitter, referring to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

Trump fired Tillerson on Tuesday after a series of public rifts over policy on North Korea and other issues, replacing him with loyalist Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo.

Trump has said he intends to leave numerous positions unfilled, because he will ultimately drive the policy. The firing was just the latest in an exodus of administration officials, including those in Trump's inner circle, with the president already setting records for staff turnover and several other Cabinet secretaries facing ethics investigations.

Iran played down the potential impact on its landmark 2015 nuclear deal with world powers of the appointment of the hawkish Mike Pompeo as the new USA secretary of state, saying the change was an internal US matter.

The report he was talking about made no such conclusion, and the intelligence officials involved explicitly stated: "We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the USA presidential election". Trump perhaps never got over the fact that Tillerson called him a moron, and the relation between the two has since been awkward, to say the least.

Widening differences on foreign policies and worldwide issues further escalated the tensions between the two. "We have a very similar thought process".

"I think we need a chief diplomat before the North Korea meeting", the Texas Republican said.

Tillerson's ouster bodes ill for those in Trump's administration who were not a part of his campaign team, business life or family.

Tillerson's departure comes just as the Trump administration embarks on its most hard and ambitious foreign policy goal to date - engaging the nuclear armed North Korean regime.

In the eyes of some USA media outlets, Tillerson had some "successes" in his less than 14-month term, including the growing pressure against Pyongyang to force it to abandon the nuclear project, and the improved ties between Saudi Arabia and Iraq.

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With Goldstein gone, the State Department has only one permanent undersecretary in place out of six.

Democrat Tammy Baldwin tweeted on the moves. "I believe the Chinese would be somewhat cautious, they'll wait and see what comes out of it", he said.

Kenya's President Uhuru Kenyatta greets the visiting U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson at State House in Nairobi on Friday.

Trump also lauded Tillerson, with whom he has long clashed with, and wished him and his family well.

Trump has said that he would reintroduce waterboarding and "a lot worse", but there's no indication that his decision to pick Haspel signals a desire to restart the harsh interrogation and detention program. Now, Mattis will have to take the lead in National Security Council deliberations, which could lead to tensions with Pompeo down the road.

Egged on by Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu, who is even more legal trouble than Trump, Trump will demand concessions from Iran or re-impose economic sanctions.

Rumors about friction between Trump and Tillerson were circulating previous year.

"When you look at the Iran deal, I think it's awful". Goldstein said Tillerson was "unaware of the reason" he was sacked and "had had every intention of staying", feeling he was making progress on national security.

Aides anticipate more changes, including the potential departure of national security adviser H.R. McMaster.

Despite Tillerson's determination to stick with the deal, Trump has threatened to scrap what he has dubbed a "terrible" agreement unless tough new restrictions were placed on Iran by May 12.

After the announcement, Tillerson tried to draw a distinction between "talks" with North Korea and "negotiations".

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