North Korea’s latest editorial broadside against the United States, delivered by state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun, accuses President Donald Trump of seeking to start a war with the communist regime to distract from political problems at home.
The North Koreans compared this Trump “wag the dog” scenario to former President Bill Clinton using military strikes on Iraq to distract from the Monica Lewinsky scandal, claiming that Trump would use the same tactic to avoid a “tough situation” in the U.S. that could lead to his impeachment.
“South Korea must realize that following psychopath Trump… will only lead to disaster,” said the Communist Party newspaper.
The NY Daily News speculates that this outburst was prompted mainly by Trump’s stern criticism of North Korea for the murder of American hostage Otto Warmbier. Trump called the Pyongyang regime a “total disgrace” for imprisoning and abusing Warmbier.
AFP suspects North Korea’s message was aimed more at South Korea’s recently elected liberal President Moon Jae-in, whose stance toward North Korea has hardened considerably since he took office.
“I believe we must now have the perception that North Korea is an irrational regime,” Moon told America’s CBS News in an interview broadcast on Tuesday, referring to the death of Warmbier. This raises the question of what perception Moon held of North Korea before now and where he came by that perception.
It should be noted that Moon hedged on accusing the Kim regime of murdering the American student. “We cannot know for sure that North Korea killed Mr. Warmbier, but I believe it is quite clear that they have a heavy responsibility for the process that led to Mr. Warmbier’s death,” he said.
Moon also insisted that he still wants dialogue with North Korea, but he applauded President Trump’s stronger stance.
“It seems to me that President Trump has criticized the failed former policies of his predecessor administrations. And on that point, I have the same view as President Trump,” he said. That is probably the comment Rodong Sinmun was responding to with its latest fulminations.
Otto Warmbier’s funeral was held in Ohio on Thursday with over 2500 people in attendance, including Ohio Senator Rob Portman, who worked to secure Warmbier’s release from North Korea.