What’s the one thing both Putin, Russia’s current leader, and Kim Jong-un, North Korea’s leader, have in common? Both men are able to recognize greatness when they see it, and both men see greatness in Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump.
Back in December of last year, Vladimir Putin had some very kind words about Donald Trump. At a press conference in Moscow he said “He is a colorful and talented man, no doubt about that,” Putin continued, “He is the absolute leader of the presidential race, as we see it today. He says that he wants to move to another level of relations, to a deeper level of relations with Russia. How can we not welcome that? Of course we welcome it.” Putin has also expressed opinions about President Obama, and Democratic primary candidate Hillary Clinton. Neither opinion has been positive.
The official media outlet of North Korea, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), praised Trump for his willingness to work with North Korea, and even condemned Hillary Clinton for her eagerness to abandon diplomatic efforts in favor of militaristic actions, something quite unexpected from a previous Secretary of State. The editorial stated “There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies’,” according to the author Han Yong-mook, a Chinese North Korean scholar. Han continued, “Trump said he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North, isn’t this fortunate from North Korea’s perspective?”
Han is referring to a speech Trump made in March, when Trump talked about how he would threaten to withdraw US military forces from Seoul if South Korea did not agree to an increase in defense spending to the US. In continuing his response Han went on to say “Yes do it, now … Who knew that the slogan ‘Yankee Go Home’ would come true like this? The day when the ‘Yankee Go Home’ slogan becomes real would be the day of Korean Unification.” After urging Seoul to allow US troops to withdraw by refusing to increase defense spending, Han went on to remind American voters why Hillary Clinton is the wrong choice, “The president that US citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary – who claimed to adapt the Iranian model to resolve nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula – but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversation with North Korea.”
According to some analysts, the sentiment is not from Pyongyang officially, however since most of North Korea’s media must be approved by the government, it’s likely an opinion shared by both the media and Pyongyang. Aidan Foster-Carter from the University of Leeds believes “This is very striking. Admittedly it is not exactly Pyongyang speaking, or at least not the DPRK government in an official capacity. But it is certainly Pyongyang flying a kite, or testing the waters.”
The article is likely in retaliation to North Korea’s repeated requests for talks with Seoul, as well as Seoul’s ally Washington. On May 17 there was a government issued statement by North Korea aiming to improve their relations with Seoul. Pyongyang alerted government in South Korea of their willingness to continue inter-Korean military talks. Unfortunately these attempts have been rejected by South Korea, but Pyongyang continues their efforts to end the present inter-Korean stalemate.
The Korean War may have ended for Americans in 1954, and despite the armed deadlock at the 38th parallel, the war continued for both North and South Korea, and even continues today. It’s possible that our continued involvement is partly responsible for the failure to end this conflict. Since the US has been able to positively change relations with Cuba, Iran, and Vietnam, the US should be able to improve relations with North Korea. In fact, North Korea has just informed us of how we can do this, and it begins with President Trump. This is how we can make America great again.