If I were the author writing this modern dystopian novel, this is the plotline.
First, the relationship between Russia and North Korea would be established. Readers know that the North Koreans did not, by themselves, have the technology to move as quickly as it appears they did. Neither the ballistic missile technology npr the advances in nuclear technology materialized in one year or even a year and a half as Trump moved toward and into his presidency in 2016-2017.
Putin, the consummate tactician, figured out a way to keep Trump in line – threaten the USA via North Korea. A simple little pee-pee tape was insufficient to assure that Trump would tow the line.
Secondly, this latest trumped up news about the Secretary of State being kicked out of office is a never/never prospect. Tillerson said when asked about the most recent news leaks, ‘that’s laughable’. Readers realize in this dystopian novel that as a man of few words, most often he seems to know whereof he speaks. He may pretend otherwise, but in our fictional story his job via Putin is to keep the North Koreans in hand publically while Putin et al keep them in hand privately.
Makes a great novel. Why would our antagonist, posing as Secretary of State, agree to this subterfuge? Because when all is said and done, when the planned lifting of sanctions against Russian banks et al is considered, it is he would have been in the perfect place to assure the initial plan’s success in a fail-safe manner.
However, in an unexpected turn of events a problem develops for Putin and his wealthy cronies. Trump’s dementia moves too quickly. The Russians always consider him expendable although readers may be sure that he doesn’t realize this fact, nor would a narcissist, even a demented narcissist consider such a possibility. Trump still thinks that Putin intends to allow him to build hotels in St. Petersburg as well as in Moscow and that the Russian oligarchs will forgive the loans on which his empire is based if only he can get those sanctions lifted.
Final scene in our novel? Putin realizes his plan is based on pretty shifty sand, reactive soil, if you get my drift. What has to happen now is that Trump needs to be disposed of, the North Koreans need to be paid off in order to save face. Robert Muller, our hero, comes to the rescue along with his posse' of over worked and over educated prosecutors.
Instead of trying to take down the USA, Putin moves back to his 2016 plot, uses the same bot and hack related processes he used in 2016 against France and the USA. He takes down the legislative bodies of Hungary, then Poland, and then Germany as he attempts to destroy NATO.
He is a patient oligarch. He’ll wait a day or 500 before sanctions are lifted by the USA. In the meantime, he plots to take over the legislative branches of the governments of those countries on his southern borders. He enlists them as co-conspirators in his attempt to destroy the Great Satan, the USA, that is, unless we manage to destroy ourselves first.
Actually, this all begins to look a bit more like a three volume boxed set.