Judging by his actions since he assumed the role of supreme leader in late 2011, Kim’s intentions are pretty clear to North Korea watchers. The grandson of the country’s late founder and eternal president, Kim Il-sung, wants to develop the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear-tipped long-range missile.
The North’s nuclear test early this month, North Korea’s sixth and most powerful yet by far, and this week’s missile test over Japan, the 15th such test flight this year, fit the pattern.
In contrast, it’s difficult to know what Donald Trump is planning to do about all this. At times, the new American president has dismissed the usefulness of negotiating with the North Korean leader. But Trump has also said he’d be willing to sit down and talk with Kim.
Last month, the president used some language that would not have sounded out of place in a broadcast from North Korea’s own official news agency.
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