The world is about to see what sort of Secretary of State #Rex Tillerson is when he faces his first major global challenge: #North Korea and the changing power structure within the Asian Pacific region.

On Tuesday, he will leave for a fraught diplomatic mission that involves trips to Japan, South Korea and China. This, at a time when an open conflict with the Northern Korean government is simmering away as a new possibility.

The administration is also plotting President Trump’s first meeting with #President Xi Jinping of China, who has warned both the US and North Korea against scaling back their escalating military – and nuclear – tensions.

The State Department hasn't allowed reporters to ride on the plane, which is unprecedented for an international diplomatic trip of such grave proportions. Traveling without the press can, according to sources, bring the risk that the secretary of state is defined by the country he is maneuvering, especially one like like China.

The upper ranks of the #National Security Council is going to meet on Monday to workshop and discuss the looming military North Korean threat and how to manage China, ensuring that Mr Tillerson keeps in line with the consensus strategy. One hopes that he is as good as they claim he is, so that the nuclear threat doesn't slip and spill into another Cuban Missile Crisis.

When the National Security Council meet on Monday to discuss the looming new threat of a nuclear stand off, don't expect to hear much from Rex Tillerson, the Secretary of State.