Trump draws criticism from his party after congratulating North Korean dictator
Former President Trump offered a hearty congratulations to Kim Jong Un after North Korea’s admission to the World Health Organization’s Executive Board.
“Congratulations to Kim Jon Un,” Trump said in a post to his Truth Social account on Friday, while sharing an article about the news.
The move immediately drew waves of criticism from Republicans.
“Kim Jong Un starves his own people. It’s a total farce that North Korea has a leading role at the World Health Organization,” said presidential candidate and Trump’s former U.N ambassador Nikki Haley.
Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp also derided Trump. “Taking our country back from Joe Biden does not start with congratulating North Korea’s murderous dictator,” he tweeted.
While he was president, Trump famously met the brutal North Korean dictator during summit meetings in Singapore and Vietnam. He also became the first U.S. president to set foot inside the reclusive country.
In June 2019, Trump crossed the narrow no-man’s land on foot from South Korea and into North Korea, where Kim stepped forward to greet him.
The two then shared a brief handshake as a gesture of peace at the most heavily fortified border in the world.
No US president had ever before set foot in North Korea since the peninsula was split after World War II.
“Big progress. Tremendous progress,” Trump declared, as he stood to Kim’s left, both facing the cameras.
“This is a historic moment,” Kim agreed through a translator, calling the visit, “a very courageous and historic act.”
Trump responded, “A lot of really positive things are happening. Tremendously positive. We met and we liked each other from day one, and that was very important.”
Both countries agreed to appoint teams to resume nuclear talks, which had stalled. The two leaders then left for a negotiating room at Freedom House on the south side of the border.
“I enjoy being with you, and thank you very much,” Trump said as the two leaders sat side-by-side there — and then shared another handshake.
The ostensible purpose of the visits were denuclearization talks — which were largely unsuccessful. The pair exchanged friendly letters and during his presidency and Trump publicly stated that he had a “great relationship” with the dictator and that they were “in love”