Tags: Donald Trump | North Korea | Trump Administration | kim jung un | nuclear weapons | diplomacy | military

WaPo: NKorea Trying to Work Around Trump to Size Up US

WaPo: NKorea Trying to Work Around Trump to Size Up US
President Donald Trump (Andrew Harnik/AP)

By    |   Tuesday, 26 September 2017 05:24 PM

North Korean government officials have reportedly been trying to arrange talks with GOP-linked analysts to try to "figure out" President Donald Trump and his confusing messages.

According to The Washington Post, the effort started before the latest round of threats between the two leaders — and likely will get more urgent as the rhetoric escalates.

"Their number-one concern is Trump: They can't figure him out," one unnamed source told the Post about North Korea's approach to Asia experts with Republican connections.

The Post reported there is no suggestion North Korea is interested in talks about their nuclear program; they likely want forums for insisting on being recognized as a nuclear state.

"The North Koreans are reaching out through various channels and through various counterparts," Evans Revere, a former State Department official who dealt with North Korea, told the Post.

"My own guess is that they are somewhat puzzled as to the direction in which the U.S. is going, so they're trying to open up channels to take the pulse in Washington. They haven't seen the U.S. act like this before."

To get a better understanding of U.S. intentions, North Korea's mission to the United Nations invited Bruce Klingner, a former CIA analyst who is now the Heritage Foundation's top expert on North Korea, to visit Pyongyang for meetings, the Post reported. Klingner declined.

"They're on a new binge of reaching out to American scholars and ex-officials," Klingner told the Post. "While such meetings are useful, if the regime wants to send a clear message it should reach out directly to the U.S. government."

North Korean intermediaries also have approached Douglas Paal, who was an Asia expert on the National Security Council under presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush and now is vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. He also declined.

"The North Koreans are clearly eager to deliver a message," Paal told the Post. "But I think they're only interested in getting some travel, in getting out of the country for a bit."

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North Korean government officials have reportedly been trying to arrange talks with GOP-linked analysts to try to "figure out" President Donald Trump and his confusing messages.
kim jung un, nuclear weapons, diplomacy, military
339
2017-24-26
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 05:24 PM
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