In the list of urgent priorities awaiting the US president-elect North Korea is likely to be near the top. With the best expert advice suggesting it could have a functioning nuclear arsenal capable of hitting the US within five years, how might Donald Trump deal with Kim Jong-un?
Donald Trump has called Kim Jong-un a “bad dude”. But he also added that he would be prepared to meet him over a hamburger.
And Kim Jong-un seems to have made an assessment of the president-elect. In June, the state-controlled media called Mr Trump a “wise politician” and the right choice for American voters.
In Iowa in January, the American president-elect betrayed a trace of admiration, even as he suggested his counterpart was crazy. “This guy, he’s like a maniac, OK? And you have to give him credit. How many young guys – he was like 26 or 25 when his father died – take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden, you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it,” he said. “I mean, this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him. Because he really does have missiles. And he really does have nukes”.
So what might President Trump do to prevent North Korea fulfilling its ambition to become a fully-fledged nuclear power? On television in February, Mr Trump indicated that he thought China was the key: “China has control – absolute control – over North Korea. They don’t say it, but they do…I would force China to do it economically”.