(CNN) Between the ruthless executions of his own senior officers, bombastic threats of nuclear annihilation and defiant missile tests, it may be easy to agree with President Donald Trump’s recent assessment that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a “madman” who is “on a suicide mission for himself.”

But top officials from the CIA said Wednesday that Kim’s actions are not those of a maniacal provocateur but a “rational actor” who is motivated by clear, long-term goals that revolve around ensuring regime survival.

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