Former U.S. President Donald Trump publicly empathized with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un after the authoritarian state’s recent missile tests.
Pointing to his close relationship with the dictator, Trump took to his social media platform, Truth Social, on Wednesday to defend the tests and share his perspective on Kim’s circumstances.
Kim Jung Un of North Korea, who I got to know and got along with very well during my years as President, is not happy with the U.S. and South Korea doing big training and air exercises together. He feels threatened. Even I would constantly complain that South Korea pays us very little to do these extremely expensive and provocative drills. It’s really ridiculous. We have 35,000 in jeopardy soldiers there, I had a deal for full payment to us, $Billions, and Biden gave it away. Such a shame!!!
This isn’t the first time Trump has publicly touted his close relationship with Kim.
Trump later confirmed these statements when speaking at a 2018 rally in West Virginia.
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“I was being really tough and so was he. And we’d go back and forth, and then we fell in love, OK? No, really. He wrote beautiful letters, and they’re great letters. We fell in love,” he said.”
Trump’s statement follows closely after North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) on Saturday and two short-range ballistic missiles on Monday.
While the ICBM landed in the East Sea, the weapon tests were a warning against increased South Korean and U.S. military exercises. North Korea confirmed the missile tests were a warning and threatened to use the Pacific as a “firing range.”
In response, joint air drills were conducted by the U.S., South Korea and Japan. Countries bordering North Korea — China, South Korea and Japan — have also been encouraged to conduct radiation exposure tests in areas near the regime. Despite previous warnings against missile testing and development — including the United Nations’ ban on North Korea’s missile and nuclear weapons programs — the authoritarian country has continued to push forward with their weaponry. Earlier this month, a North Korean military parade revealed the highest number of ICBMs thus far. In an interview with CNN on Thursday, South Korean Foreign Minister Park Jin also confirmed North Korea to be a “clear and present danger.”
[South Korean] government will not accept a nuclear North Korea. What North Korea is doing is completely wrong. They have been escalating nuclear and missile threats and threatening the peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia.
Although Kim has warned against South Korean and U.S. collaboration, Park confirmed that the dictator’s actions have only strengthened the bond between the liberal countries.
In an effort to give North Korea “no option” but negotiation, Park displayed his determination to display a strong front:
The lesson we learned is that when we are strong […] North Korea comes to the dialogue table. When we are weak, they try to take advantage of that vulnerability. So we have to prepare ourselves through our defense and also through deterrence to talk with the North.