President Donald Trump intends to wing it when he meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, according to associates.
Sources close the president say Trump genuinely believes he — and he alone — can solve the geopolitical disaster on the Korean Peninsula, although he intends to figure out just how he’ll do that on the fly, reported Axios.
“He thinks, ‘Just get me in the room with the guy and I’ll figure it out,’” said one source who has discussed North Korea with Trump.
Trump’s aides are a bit less confident a political solution can be improvised during the planned summit, and some believe the meeting with Kim Jong-un is doomed to failure.
“There are important strategic considerations,” said one source familiar with Trump’s thinking on North Korea. “But he also very much conceives it as a test of wills and of a contest of one man and another. How they’re going to react, how they’re going to shadow box with each other, and ultimately how they’re going to choose to act.”
That source told Axios that Trump “definitely thinks it’s a duel of personalities.”
The president sees the meeting as an extension of the “war of insults” he and Kim engaged in last year, according to the source who’s familiar with Trump’s thinking.
“Trump’s tweets and ‘little Rocket Man’ were pretty carefully calibrated — in his mind, was more intentional, not just popping off,” the source said. “He never clearly articulated what he was trying to do. But it seemed he wanted to demonstrate he and the U.S. were unafraid, prepared to take whatever steps necessary and were willing to be direct. He wanted to show dominance over Kim.”
President Trump: If the meeting with Kim Jong Un is not ‘fruitful,’ I will respectfully leave pic.twitter.com/wdcVvI9NeA
— FOX & friends (@foxandfriends) April 19, 2018