On February 27, the New York Times reported that the Trump administration canceled back-channel talks with North Korea. Prior to this, North Korea had launched their first missile under the Trump administration -- likely testing them for a response, and reports were circulating that Kim Jong-Un's older brother Kim Jong-Nam had been assassinated.

There was much discussion at the time over the Trump administration's approach that they would arrange talks with North Korea as President Trump said last year when he was a candidate, that he would like to sit down and have a burger with North Korea's Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un.

But during the U.S. Secretary of State's visit to Tokyo on Thursday, Rex Tillerson said that diplomacy had failed and that it was time to take a different approach.

Trump pokes North Korea

The mentioned New York Times article said that on the previous Friday, the Trump administration had already approved plans to speak with a North Korean delegation in New York but that the administration "reversed course," withdrawing approval for the visa of at least one of those delegates. At the time the State Department was still somewhat "inactive" and yet told the delegation hours before the cancellation that their visas would be approved.

But according to the report, the order for the cancellation overrode the State Department.

Since then, as reported by Blasting News, there seems to be some indication that the State Department had little to say about what the White House's policies were. Many felt that the cancellation was made in light of the assassination of Kim Jong-Nam in Malaysia.

Rex Tillerson's 'different' approach

According to a new report by The Washington Post, Tillerson traveled to Japan in order to come up with a solution with regional leaders as to how they would handle North Korea along with his suggestion of a more aggressive approach by saying that nothing over the past 20-years had worked.

Many in Washington have been pushing for military action against Pyongyang which refuses to stop missile testing they claim is for self-defense. But North Korea is also irritated by the fact that the U.S. deployed attack drones to the South Korean border along with the controversial advanced anti-missile system, which Pyongyang is already interpreting as a sign of war.

North Korea 'prepares' for war

The article says that the North Korean Embassy in Beijing summoned journalists and said that the recent joint effort of U.S. and South Korea to take military action against them are "hostile forces aimed at preemptive strikes against the DPRK." Even the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi warned last week that both the U.S. and North Korea were on a collision course and that the tension could lead to conflict. Much like those in Washington pushing for military action against North Korea; Japanese lawmakers are pushing for military strikes as well.

As of late, missiles fired by the DPRK have crashed into the Sea of Japan which has only irritated the situation in the area. The Japanese foreign minister Fumio Kishida who met with Tillerson even admitted that the conflict has reached a new stage.

Trump blames Obama administration for tension

Until the deployment of attack drones, missile defenses and Rex Tillerson's statement; there hasn't been much clarity from the Trump administration as to how they would handle North Korea, other than to assume it would take a more aggressive stance than previous administrations. While Donald Trump might have hinted at negotiating, he has also blamed other administrations for not showing military power in places such as the Middle East against ISIS. In an interview with Reuters, when President Trump was asked about North Korea's missile launch, he said that the problem should have been corrected during the Obama administration.