US President Donald Trump has ousted Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State and said he will be replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo.
Trump's statement did not mention Tillerson, with whom he has been at odds on issues ranging from North Korea to steel and aluminum tariffs throughout the first 14 months of his administration.
Trump publicly undercut Tillerson's diplomatic initiatives numerous times, including on Monday when the former secretary of state's comments about Russian Federation appeared to be at odds with those of the White House.
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson speaks to the media during a joint press conference with Kenya's Cabinet Secretary for Foreign Affairs Monica Juma, at a hotel in Nairobi, Kenya Friday, March 9, 2018.
Calm before the storm? North Korea still mum on Trump summit
A South Korean spokesman said, "I feel they're approaching this matter with caution and they need time to organize their stance ". North Korean media has reported on the South Korean visit to the U.S. , but not on details of the talks, according to Reuters .
"His experience in the military, Congress and as leader of the Central Intelligence Agency have prepared him well for his new role, and I urge his swift confirmation", said Trump in a statement.
Last autumn, Mr Trump publicly undercut the former Texas oilman by tweeting that he was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with nuclear-armed North Korea.
Trump also announced that Gina Haspel would replace Pompeo as CIA director - making her the first woman to ever head the country's top spy agency.
Trump's suprise announcement took place less than four hours after Tillerson's flight landed. Both Mr. Pompeo and Ms. Haspel will require Senate confirmation. And Tillerson once allegedly called Trump a "moron", a charge he never denied.