During a Jan. 4 phone call in which the South Korean leader briefed the American president on the plans for talks with North Korea, Trump asked Moon to publicly give him the credit for creating the environment for the talks, according to people familiar with the conversation.
(In these conversations, Trump calls his counterpart “Jae-in” — an unimaginable informality in Korean business etiquette. Moon calls Trump “Mr. President.”)…
Moon is trying to manipulate Trump into effectively undermining his own policy: putting pressure on North Korea, said one former official, asking for anonymity to protect officials still in government.
“Kim Jong Un is setting the agenda here,” the former official said. “His purpose is to use these talks to show the world that he’s okay and to make the sanctions effort lose steam.”