Secretary of State Rex Tillerson denied reports in South Korean media outlets that he did not dine with the country's officials due to "fatigue" on a leg of his Asia trip, according to an interview published Saturday.
"They never invited us for dinner, then at the last minute they realized that optically it wasn’t playing very well in public for them, so they put out a statement that we didn’t have dinner because I was tired," Tillerson told Independent Journal Review's Erin McPike.
"The host country decides whether we are going to do things or not," Tillerson told McPike. "We didn’t decide that."
Tillerson also cited a transitional government in Seoul — following the recent impeachment of former President Park Geun-hye — as a reason for lesser contact with officials there.