60 Minutes is airing its interview with U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the former CEO of ExxonMobil, on February 18. The oil executive who is reportedly worth at least $300 million (he was named 25th most powerful person in the world by Forbes in 2015), says it’s his job as Chief Diplomat to make sure North Korea knows that “channels are open” for negotiation. Tillerson says, “I’m listening,” but “I’m not sending a lot of messages back because there’s nothing to same to them at this point.”
The 60 Minutes correspondent asks Tillerson, “What is the carrot that you’re dangling for North Korea, to convince them to talk?” He replies, “We’re not using a carrot to convince them to talk. We’re using large sticks.” Tillerson’s comment echoes Theodore Roosevelt’s famous dictum on foreign policy — Roosevelt believed the US should “speak softly and carry a big stick.” (The concept has become known as “big stick diplomacy.”) Tillerson says: “This pressure campaign is having its bite on North Korea.” 60 Minutes airs Sundays at 7pm on CBS.