It's not often that North Korea gets a chunk of good press thrown its way. Thanks to President Donald Trump, that now appears to be the case.
After countless American companies urged the president to remain in the Paris climate agreement, Trump decided that the best path for the United States was to exit the accord entirely. Now, North Korea has decided to pitch in, calling the U.S. president's action “the height of egoism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being, even at the cost of the entire planet.”
During his speech denouncing the accord, Trump said that as a person who cares about the country, he could not “in good conscience support a deal which punishes the United States.” That statement may have triggered Pyongyang, prompting a spokesperson for the North Korean Ministry of Foreign Affairs to state that Trump's climate policy is associated with his “unreasonable and reckless” attitude toward the country's nuclear program. The spokesperson added that America's “selfish act … does not only have grave consequences for the international efforts to protect the environment, but poses great danger to other areas as well.”
The statement seemed to echo concerns raised by European and other world leaders who harshly criticized the U.S. president for his refusal to participate in the Paris accord.
Still, it's hard to ignore the hypocrisy coming from North Korea over its own systematic violations of human rights.
As the country remains one of the most isolated in the world, its leader, Kim Jong-un, appears unshaken by the world's call for a change in how it treats the thousands of North Koreans stuck in forced labor camps. It's almost impossible to see any good in his pointing the finger at Trump while remaining absolutely oblivious to how the suffering of his own people proves his big statements mean nothing.
Interestingly enough, Trump has refrained from personally attacking the North Korean leader in the past, choosing instead to give him credit for taking over for his father and making it work. Quite an odd remark that many called “praise.”
Perhaps, Trump and Jong-un have more in common than many would expect — but not when it comes to climate, of course.