No sitting president in the U.S. history has ever met with incumbent leader of North Korea after assuming power, but since President Donald Trump’s legacy so far has been about doing the unimaginable — like banning people from six predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States — it was just about time that he did something about it.
Amid the heightened tensions between the two countries, which escalated after North Korea threatened a nuclear strike against America, Trump previously suggested “major, major conflict possible with North Korea.” The hermit kingdom, in return, blamed the “vicious cycle” on the U.S. commander-in-chief’s inflammatory tweets.
Like these two, for example.
North Korea is looking for trouble. If China decides to help, that would be great. If not, we will solve the problem without them! U.S.A.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 11, 2017
North Korea disrespected the wishes of China & its highly respected President when it launched, though unsuccessfully, a missile today. Bad!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 28, 2017
However, the times seem to be changing.
During a recent interview with the Bloomberg News, the leader of the free world not only praised the North Korea dictator for his intelligence, but also said he would be “honored” to meet him — under right circumstances, of course.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would absolutely, I would be honored to do it,” Trump said. “If it’s under the, again, under the right circumstances. But I would do that.”
“I can tell you this, and a lot of people don’t like when I say it, but he was a young man of 26 or 27 when he took over from his father, when his father died. He’s dealing with obviously very tough people, in particular the generals and others,” Trump told John Dickerson. “And at a very young age, he was able to assume power. A lot of people, I’m sure, tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. And he was able to do it. So obviously, he’s a pretty smart cookie.”
He is a smart cookie alright — a smart cookie who is threatening to nuke U.S. and its allies, but since when does Trump care?
White House press secretary Sean Spicer, probably the least skilled person to defend anyone in the Trump administration, defended the president’s “smart cookie” comment during a press briefing later.
“He assumed power at a young age when his father passed away,” Spicer began. “There was a lot of potential threats that could have come his way. He’s managed to lead a country forward, despite the concerns that we and so many people have, he is a young person to be leading a country with nuclear weapons. So that set aside, the president recognizes the threat he poses and is doing everything he can to isolate that threat and make sure we bring stability to the region.”
So Trump is impressed with Kim's ability to consolidate power, even when it means eliminating those who get in his way? Scary.
Even more troubling, this is hardly the first tyrannical autocrat Trump praised. Between his chummy talk about Vladimir Putin, calling Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan with congratulations after a deeply suspicious election victory and praising the Philippines' president, who is an admitted killer, Trump is on a roll with the world's top despots.
As for the potential meeting between the young North Korean leader and the former reality TV star sitting in the Oval Office, Spicer didn’t seem to keen to answer that query.
“Clearly, conditions are not there right now,” he said.