WASHINGTON -- The tense situation in North Korea has proven to be a “learning curve” for President Donald Trump, David Nakamura, White House reporter for The Washington Post, said Sunday.
Mr. Trump first realized North Korea was “such a problem” after sitting down with former President Barack Obama, but has learned even more in recent weeks after meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, said Nakamura, appearing on a panel of political experts on CBS News’ “Face The Nation.”
North Korea attempted a failed missile test over the weekend, and has threatened a preemptive nuclear strike if it believes the U.S. will attack. Mr. Trump is working to enlist China’s help to quell North Korea’s nuclear power, but has said the U.S. will handle North Korea alone if China doesn’t intervene.
“I think deeper down it is a learning curve, it’s very difficult -- the situation in North Korea -- and it’s perplexed administration after administration,” Nakamura said.
Mr. Trump has approached foreign policy more aggressively than he said he would during his campaign, when he said he campaigned “explicitly” against foreign intervention, said Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent at Slate. But the recent U.S. missile strike on a Syrian airbase in response to an apparent chemical attack, and the use of the “mother of all bombs” to destroy ISIS tunnels in Afghanistan seem to veer from that focus.
“This is an interesting shift of gears,” Bouie said, a shift that likely reflects how the president doesn’t have much expertise and is an “empty vessel” ready to be shaped by his advisers.
“It’s unclear how this will appeal to his voters,” Bouie added.