Trump retreats from US moral leadership stanceBreaking News
tags: North Korea, Kim Jong Un, Trump
Though Trump is far from the first U.S. president to work with an unsavory counterpart to achieve a strategic goal, his decision to broadcast that he tacitly accepts Kim’s history of atrocities was a sharp break from the position of presidents from both parties to set America as the exemplar shining city on a hill for other nations to emulate.
It has been much the same at home.
He pointedly refused to exclusively blame neo-Nazis and white supremacists for last summer’s deadly clash with anti-racist demonstrators in Charlottesville, Virginia, suggesting there was blame “on both sides.” And when he asked to condemn the murders carried out under the rule of Vladimir Putin in Russia, Trump retorted “There are a lot of killers. You think our country’s so innocent?”
But Trump did draw graphic attention to North Korea’s human rights record in his State of the Union address in January, and championed the plight of U.S. citizens who had been imprisoned in Pyongyang. So he was all but bound to address the issue in some form in his unprecedented meeting with Kim Jong Un. He told reporters that he did raise the cases of Japanese abducted by North Korea in the 1970s and 1980s and the plight of persecuted Christians in North Korea.
However, he acknowledged that human rights was a small part of his talks with Kim. And it was not mentioned at all in their joint statement.