Is Trump Merely Acting ‘Crazy’ In Korea?

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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President Donald Trump may be pursuing a “madman strategy” in his dealing with foreign countries, including North Korea.

Trump apparently wants others to perceive him as “crazy” to give himself an advantage up in negotiations, Axios introduced, calling attention to a recent discussion between U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer and the president on a bilateral trade deal with South Korea.

“You’ve got 30 days, and if you don’t get concessions then I’m pulling out,” Trump explained to Lighthizer, who responded, “Ok, I’ll tell the Koreans they’ve got 30 days.” The president then proceeded to give the top trade negotiator a lesson in deal making.

“That’s not how you negotiate,” he explained, “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.”

“You tell them if they don’t give the concessions now, this crazy guy will pull out of the deal,” he concluded.

Present at the meeting was Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who Trump appeared to undermine during negotiations in Beijing this past weekend. Senior officials, however, reportedly suggest that Trump and Tillerson may be playing good cop and bad cop.

After Tillerson introduced that the U.S. was probing opportunities for negotiations with North Korea, Trump tweeted that trying to talk to the regime is a waste of time.

Trump followed up these thoughts with another tweet signaling that there is no point playing nice with North Korea.

Such tweets and statements have become very common in recent weeks. (RELATED: Trump Says ‘Talking Is Not The Answer’ In North Korea)

The president has taken an unusual approach to North Korea, repeatedly warning that the military option is on the table and that the U.S. will devastate North Korea if it forces America’s hand on this issue. Such comments come as other administration officials call for a diplomatic solution. (RELATED: Trump Warns That The US Will Devastate North Korea If The Military Is Forced To Step In)

Trump may be trying to convince North Korea, as well as its international supporters, that this administration may be willing to do something that past administration’s were not — apply military force to the situation. Tensions have escalated with North Korea’s test of new ballistic missile systems, including an intercontinental ballistic missile that can reach the U.S., and a staged thermonuclear bomb.

Some observers have long suspected Kim Jong Un is crazy or irrational, something not supported by evidence, but now North Korea fears that Trump is the mad man. Kim recently called Trump “mentally deranged.”

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