19 April 2020   Leave a comment

President Trump held his daily coronavirus briefing yesterday which lasted a very long time. It covered a multitude of issues, although I personally found it difficult to follow the train of thought. But there was an interesting point where Mr. Trump began to talk about his relationship with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un:

“No, I think we’re doing fine.  Yeah, sure, it’s — North Korea, I see they’re testing short-range missiles.  And, you know, they’ve been doing it a long time.  I received a nice note from him recently.  It was a nice note.  I think we’re doing fine.

“Look, if I wasn’t elected, you would, right now, be at war with North Korea.  Okay?  I’ll tell you, for your people that don’t understand the world and they don’t understand how life works: If I wasn’t elected, you would, right now — maybe the war would be over, hopefully with a victory.

“But if you remember, when I first came in, we didn’t have ammunition.  Not a good way to fight a war.  President Obama left us no ammunition.  Okay?  And he left us virtually no medical and ventilators.  He left us — the cupboard was dry, right?  The cupboard was dry.

“No, I think, right now, you’d be at war, essentially — in some form — it would be over, it would be raging — with North Korea, if I weren’t President.  And we’re doing just fine with North Korea.  Just fine.  We’ll see how it all ends up.

“You know, in the meantime, they said, ‘Oh, Trump has given up.’  And then they said ‘Oh, really, what’s he given up?’  And they said, ‘I don’t know.’  Then they said, ‘He met.’  Oh, I met.  I met.

“No, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un.  That’s not a bad thing to have a good relationship.  Obama wanted a relationship; he wouldn’t meet with Obama.  Wouldn’t meet with him.  Okay?  I have a good relationship with him.  We met at the line.  I stepped over the line.  The first time anything like that’s ever — it’s all good.  It’s just — it’s good.”

It is difficult to determine exactly what point Mr. Trump was trying to make, but his assertion that he had received a “nice note” from Kim Jong-un elicited a response from North Korea. According to Politico:

“North Korea’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that there was no letter addressed to Trump recently by “the supreme leadership,” a reference to Kim.

“It said it would examine why the U.S. leadership released ‘the ungrounded story’ to the media.

“’The relations between the top leaders of [North Korea] and the U.S. are not an issue to be taken up just for diversion nor it should be misused for meeting selfish purposes,’ the statement said.”

Kim was not present at the celebrations for the Day of the Sun, an annual event honoring the birthday of Kim Il-sing, the founder of North Korea and Kim’s grandfather. It is difficult to interpret his absence from the event. It may be simply that Kim is avoiding public contact as the COVID-19 virus works its way through the North Korean population. Or it could be something more serious, such as Kim himself being sick. It is difficult to know what is going on in North Korea.

Posted April 19, 2020 by vferraro1971 in World Politics

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