#Rex Tillerson, a former Exxon Mobil CEO, has maintained a quiet and effective cloak of silence since being sworn in as #Secretary of State six weeks ago. But with the looming threat of a North Korea and US military or nuclear showdown, it seems time we got to know the elusive man a little better.

On Tuesday, Tillerson will leave for a fraught #diplomatic mission that involves a mounting and increasingly fractured relationship between China South Korea, North Korea and the US.

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At such a testing time, when an open conflict with #North Korea is starting to be seen as a new possibility, all eyes will be on the new Secretary of State who has been reticent to engage with the press or the public – or even with other diplomats.

His quiet approach to global diplomacy

In the current hothouse political climate, where the American President shapes foreign policy through his often-injudicious use of Twitter – and where advisors are still fighting for power and influence in a highly charged environment – Tillerson's approach has many wondering.

Is he behaving in a brilliant or weak manner? Is his subtle and elusive style going to invite respect or be dismissed as ineffective? And will he be able to handle the rising tensions between the US and #North Korea, and between China and South Korea (and then potentially the US too?)

For instance, #Mr Tillerson has limited his contact with American diplomats abroad and has given the public no proclamations about his agenda. Diplomats and overseas officials receive no advice from him, neither have they had to pull rank with his views and his take on American foreign policy.

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Tillerson has similarly refused all questions from the press and also presented no statements or opinions when the #White House proposed cutting the State Department budget by nearly 40 percent, and this without first consulting him. He also skipped important White House conferences with big world leaders, and he didn't publicize or announce the State Department's annual report on human rights, which is usually an occasion for the United States to take a stand against repressive regimes throughout the world.

State Department officials also claimed that Tillerson offered no retort when President Trump rejected Tillerson’s pick for deputy Secretary of State.

His supporters say that he has accomplished far more behind the glare of a divide public and a muddled administration. They point to how he arranged the first journey of a Saudi foreign official to Iraq in 25 years and has plans to take on #Putin's disreputable behavior in Crimea and the Ukraine, something that Angela Merkel seems to have been gifted since Trump was voted in as President of the United States.

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“He’s already developing plans to begin ratcheting back #Putin’s nefarious behavior,” Senator Bob Corker of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee proclaimed in an interview. This would indeed be the first effort of Trump's administration to take on Russia – and everyone is waiting for it to happen.

“When he’s ready to talk, you will be very highly impressed,” Corker said. Let's hope so, since the #North Korea threat is building – and it would be wise not to engage in a nuclear war.

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