North Korea apparently is so confused by President Donald Trump that it's asking US experts for help understanding him.Trump urges staff to portray him as "crazy guy"
According to a Washington Post report on Tuesday, government officials have been soliciting, via various back channels, US experts with ties to the Republican Party for informal talks.
"Their number-one concern is Trump," an unnamed analyst told Anna Fifield, the newspaper's Tokyo bureau chief.
"They can't figure him out."
North Korea's questions include why Trump's closest advisers, such as Defence Secretary James Mattis and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, directly contradicting the president so often.
. . .
Pyongyang's designated official in charge of interpreting US politics, statements, and defence policy also can't seem to figure Trump out, according to Evan Osnos, a New Yorker journalist who visited North Korea this summer.
Trump "might be irrational — or too smart," the North Korean Pak Song Il told Osnos. "We don't know."
In an Oval Office meeting earlier this month, President Trump gave his top trade negotiator, Robert Lighthizer, an Art of the Deal-style coaching session on how to negotiate with the South Koreans.Keep 'em guessing.
Trump's impromptu coaching came in the middle of a pivotal conversation with top officials about whether or not to withdraw from the U.S.-Korean trade deal. Sources familiar with the conversation recounted the exchange for Axios, and the White House did not dispute this account.
A number of senior officials and cabinet secretaries were present for the conversation, including Defense Secretary Mattis, Agriculture Secretary Perdue, and Secretary of State Tillerson. At issue was whether the U.S. would withdraw from the Korean trade deal — an action Trump threatened but still hasn't done.
"You've got 30 days, and if you don't get concessions then I'm pulling out," Trump told Lighthizer.
"Ok, well I'll tell the Koreans they've got 30 days," Lighthizer replied.
"No, no, no," Trump interjected. "That's not how you negotiate. You don't tell them they've got 30 days. You tell them, 'This guy's so crazy he could pull out any minute.'"
"That's what you tell them: Any minute," Trump continued. "And by the way, I might. You guys all need to know I might. You don't tell them 30 days. If they take 30 days they'll stretch this out."