WASHINGTON — Shortly after news broke of another North Korean missile test Friday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said the country’s dictator, Kim Jong Un, “seems like someone who knows what he’s doing.”
Asked by CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” whether the North Korean president is “mentally unbalanced,” Kelly responded that “clearly the No. 1 thing in his mind is to remain in power.”
Kim appears to be solidifying his power by instilling fear in his subjects and showcasing military might, Kelly said.
The DHS secretary admitted he may not be the best person to assess Kim’s mental state, telling Tapper: “The only way to decide whether he’s insane or not is to lay him down on a couch and have a battalion’s worth of therapists figure him out.”
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Thursday that he also believes Kim is a rational actor.
“He may be ruthless,” he said. “He may be a murderer. He may be someone who, in many respects, we would say by our standards is irrational. But he is not insane.”
President Donald Trump was less certain, telling Reuters that he has “no opinion” on whether the North Korean dictator was rational or not.
“I hope he’s rational,” President Trump said.
CORRECTION: This story has been updated to correctly identify North Korea’s test Friday.