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Why Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired now and what it means for North Korea talks:Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was fired via Twitter after returning from an Africa trip during which he was out of the loop on North Korean talks and contradicted the White House position on Russia’s responsibility for poisoning a former double agent in the United Kingdom. In other words, his last week on the job was like many others in his 405-day tenure as the nation’s top diplomat — the shortest of any secretary of State to begin an administration since Elihu B. Washburne’s 11-day service in 1869. Tillerson often found himself on the outer ring of President Trump’s inner circle, trying to interpret the president’s mercurial and contradictory foreign policy to the rest of the world. He reassured NATO allies that the United States remained committed to the alliance after the president threatened to pull out over “dues” that Trump said were owed directly to the United States. (They weren’t.)He engaged with North Korea despite the president’s protests — again via Twitter — that he was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.” And he tried to salvage the Iran nuclear deal through a European-brokered fix to the Obama-era agreement rather than having Trump scuttle the deal completely.

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he president’s protests — again via Twitter — that he was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.” And he tried to salvage the Iran nuclear deal through a European-brokered fix to the Obama-era agreement rather than having Trump scuttle the deal completely.