Thursday, September 21, 2017

Body Language Analysis No. 4070: President Trump Announces New Sanctions Against North Korea - Nonverbal and Emotional Intelligence (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

On Thursday 21 September, in an effort to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons development, President Trump announced new sanctions which "significantly expands" the United States' "authority to target individual companies and financial institutions that facilitate trade with North Korea."

North Korea's Foreign Minister - Ri Yong Ho, retaliated with a threat to test a hydrogen bomb over the Pacific Ocean.

On Friday, 22 September, Kim Jong-un released a statement, wherein, among other things, he called President Trump a, "Dotard", saying, "He is unfit to hold the prerogative of supreme command of a country, and he is surely a rogue and a gangster fond of playing with fire, rather than a politician" - as well as, "A frightened dog barks louder."

What follows is an analysis of President Trump's nonverbal display at the very end of his statement.

PRESIDENT TRUMP (continuing at 11:11 in the above video): So, thank you all very much for being here. We appreciate it. We'll see ya [sic] later. Thank you.

JOURNALIST: Is dialog still possible with North Korea? Is dialog still possible?

PRESIDENT TRUMP: Why not? - Why Not?

As soon as he finishes his statement, he turns off his microphone (11:15). This of course signals, among other things, that Donald Trump does not want to answer questions from the press.

President Trump then immediately crosses his arms. However, all arm crossing is not the same. You'll notice here that the President's hands are hidden beneath his arms. This signals defensiveness, insecurity, and a lower confidence level.

At this moment he also looks briefly down and to his right - a quadrant of gaze associated with sadness, grief, low confidence/insecurity, and low emotional comfort.

It's quite unusual to see a head-of-state in this configuration - and it's exceeding rare to see this behavior displayed by a leader of this level during a public statement/press conference/debate, etc.

This facial expression (seen during 11:18) of a "Pseudo-Pout" with his lips protruding forward, in a concave-down fashion - along with a clenching of his jaw and chin-dimpling is indicative of "Feigned Consideration". And when coupled with his arm configuration - these two words might as well be tattooed on his forehead.

When a person displays this cluster of nonverbal signs - he has his mind made up and there's no changing it.

The President then displays a sequence of Contempt  followed by Disgust. This image (captured during 11:21) is primarily Contempt (note the facial asymmetry particularly his mouth along with his contracted left mid-facial region).

The left eyebrow raising, in this context, adds the additional emotion of sarcastic incredulity.

During 11:22, he then blinks and looks to his left (amplifying his emotional display) as his face morphs into a symmetrical Disgust expression.

Now backtrack back to 11:17 - at the initial stages of his Pseudo-pout. Notice the facial asymmetry present in this moment. This is contempt masked as False Consideration. Often a person will exaggerate an expression (in this case, as noted earlier - the concave-down protruding lips, the jaw clenching, and chin dimpling) in the psyche's attempt to camouflage the true emotion (in this example, contempt).

Summary: President Trump displays both contempt and disgust at the end of this statement. He also projects low confidence and emotional insecurity. At this time the President feels there is no hope of dialog with North Korea.

Kim Jong-un's statement, made in the first-person (the first time he's ever done so), is particularly alarming. This suggests an inflamed ego and a higher emotional component to the North Korean's decision-making.

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See also:

Body Language Analysis No. 4069: Donald Trump's United Nations Speech, Part II - regarding the "Iran Deal"

Body Language Analysis No. 4067: 2017 Emmys - Melissa McCarthy's Reaction to Sean Spicer Doing Melissa McCarthy Doing Sean Spicer

Body Language Analysis No. 4064: The Murder of Laci Peterson - Part II - A Red Flag Conspicuous by its Absence

Body Language Analysis No. 4062: President Donald Trump meets with Senator Tim Scott

Body Language Analysis No. 4035: Hope Hicks, Jared Kushner, and Phone Tells

Body Language Analysis No. 4018: Alexis Bledel and "The Handmaid's Tale"

Body Language Analysis No. 4005: O.J. Simpson's Parole Board Hearing 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3908: Kim Jong-un's Mask of Insincerity 

Nonverbal Communication Analysis No. 3873: Brie Larson's Eyes, The Bachelor, and the Edge of Consciousness