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Trump's dark view of North Korea options
In this unverified image from the North Korean government, Kim Jong-un is said to inspect loading of a hydrogen bomb into an ICBM, at unknown location (Korean Central News Agency / Korea News Service, via AP)

Forget DACA or tax reform. One topic consumes the vast majority of President Trump's inner circle: North Korea.

Contrary to the president's breezy tweet this morning, in which he refers to Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man," top administration officials have a dark view of how this plays out. They believe the confrontation with Pyongyang's portly dictator will define Trump's first term in office.

The consensus view among Trump, Mattis and McMaster, according to several officials briefed on their thinking, is that this conflict is heading towards two options, both with high risks: escalated confrontation with China and the military option.