On Monday, a senior North Korean official called presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s proposal to meet Kim Jong Un a “kind of propaganda or advertisement” during the US election cycle.
"It is up to the decision of my Supreme Leader whether he decides to meet or not, but I think his (Trump's) idea or talk is nonsense," So Se Pyong, the hermit kingdom’s ambassador to the United Nations told Reuters. "It's for utilization of the presidential election, that's all. A kind of a propaganda or advertisement. This is useless, just a gesture for the presidential election."
During an interview with Reuters last week, Trump touted his negotiating skills, suggesting that he would be open to “speaking” with North Korea’s Supreme Leader. "I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him," he stated. In typical Trumpian fashion, the billionaire businessman threw the bold proposition out there into the ether, perhaps as an innocuous suggestion, without sharing his larger North Korea policy goals. “The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with North Korea, but said he was open to talking to its leader,” reports Reuters.
In the past, Trump has praised Kim Jong Un, referencing the man-child tyrant’s supposed strength -- a quality the real estate mogul has come to admire in men like Vladimir Putin.
“And you’ve got to give him credit,” said Trump at a campaign rally in Ottumwa, Iowa In January. “How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals and all of a sudden, you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that?”
Again in January, Trump celebrated the young leader’s precocious temperament and "amazing" accomplishments, telling Fox News:
I mean, it’s amazing that a young guy would go over and take over. You know, you would have thought that these tough generals would have said no way this is gonna happen when the father died. So he’s gotta have something going for him, because he kept control, which is amazing for a young person to do.
Trump qualified his seemingly outlandish statements with some psychological analysis of the dictator’s mental state. “If you look at North Korea, this guy, he’s like a maniac, OK?” Trump noted, adding that Kim Jong Un was a “total nut job” and a “madman playing around with nukes.”
While Trump has a habit of contradicting himself, his celebration of testosterone-touting tyrants is woven into the “Make America Great” platform, one that’s built upon a blueprint of toxic masculinity.
And yet, all the bravado in the world couldn’t get the North Koreans to sit down with the self-described best negotiator in the world.
Instead, regime representatives did what they do best, issuing veiled threats against the United States.
"As a responsible nuclear state ... we never use them first," UN ambassador So said. "If the United States use their nuclear weapons first, then we have to use also that one."