North Korea: 'Donald Trump is distracted by NFL controversy'

North Korea: 'Donald Trump is distracted by NFL controversy'

John Nilsson-Wright says Donald Trump is distracted

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Donald Trump is not taking the North Korea issue seriously enough as he is distracted by the NFL controversy, according to a Chatham House research fellow.

North Korea has claimed the US threats against Pyongyang amount to a declaration of war, and has suggested this means it can shoot down US bombers in international airspace. However White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the suggestion that war has been declared is "absurd."

John Nilsson-Wright, an Asia programme research fellow at think tank Chatham House, told Julia Hartley-Brewer that the "very aggressive references by President Trump insulting the leader of North Korea” is “part of the explanation for the dynamic behind all of this.”

He thinks Donald Trump is not "taking this situation as needing urgent attention. He is distracted the ridiculous controversy of [the NFL] and not to mention the failings of the attempt to repeal Obamacare and the prospective election in Alabama."

Nilsson-Wright believes "there will be potentially some people in the administration who’ve had contact with the North Koreans in the past but what we don’t know at the moment is whether there’s anything substantial dialogue taking place, I suspect there isn’t and that’s a very worrying development."

However he added: "The probability of the North Koreans shooting down an American aircraft or taking provocative action themselves is probably quite low."

​Listen to the full interview above