Speed Reads

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Does President Trump know who the leader of North Korea is?

Tensions between the United States and North Korea have been steadily rising, with White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer declaring Monday that America is not "taking options off the table" when it comes to handling North Korea's escalating aggression. Only, what might make the situation especially concerning is that President Trump appears to not even know who is in charge of the country, as writer Ana Marie Cox recently pointed out on Twitter:

Trump [...] made two references in the interview to "this gentleman" in North Korea, who he said had "outplayed" both Presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. The late North Korean ruler Kim Jong Il died in 2011. His son, Kim Jong Un, is the country's current ruler.

"But, you know, they've been talking with this gentleman for a long time," Trump said. "You read Clinton’s book, he said, 'Oh, we made such a great peace deal,' and it was a joke. You look at different things over the years with President Obama. Everybody has been outplayed, they've all been outplayed by this gentleman. And we'll see what happens. But I just don't telegraph my moves." [Talking Points Memo]

Last week, Chinese President Xi Jinping had to explain the North Korea conflict to Trump. "After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it's not so easy," Trump said afterward. "I felt pretty strongly that [China] had a tremendous power over North Korea. But it's not what you would think."