After Donald Trump’s failed experiment with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un that culminated in a “nuclear summit” in Hanoi, Vietnam this week, it became clear that the President’s strategy was very different than prior American presidents have used: Rather than simply telling Kim that he will disarm or face the consequences, Trump adopted the tactic of praising the foreign leader, calling him by the honorific “Chairman” as they do in Kim’s home country, and demanding that everyone else treat him with deference as well.
Honestly, I’m not ashamed to say that I don’t mind seeing Trump try his hand at actual diplomacy — everyone knows he’s blundered his way through essentially every attempt at foreign policy since he was inaugurated.
But his blatant ass-kissing went a step too far when he publicly announced that he believed the brutal dictator who assured him he had nothing to do with the torture and inhumane treatment of American college student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned in North Korea beginning in 2016, and returned in a vegetative state to the US where he promptly died.
It’s offensive on its face for Kim to even suggest that he had no hand in Warmbier’s death — absolutely nothing happens in North Korea without Kim’s tacit approval. So for Trump to say he took Kim “at his word” about the transparent lie North Korea tried to tell — that the student had gotten botulism — was offensive on an even larger scale, especially considering the spectacle that Trump made out of Warmbier and his parents when the student was returned to the United States.
In short, once, Trump was done using him and his family as prop guests during his 2017 State of the Union address to help him blow his own horn and criticize former President Barack Obama for not bringing Otto home sooner, he was done pretending to care.
Now Otto’s parent’s are speaking out, and they are not happy with Donald Trump.
In a statement on Friday, Cindy and Fred Warmbier blasted the President and said in no uncertain terms that Kim Jong Un himself was responsible for their son’s murder:
We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that.”
It’s that last bit that should have Trump ashamed of himself — everyone can see his praise of Kim Jong Un is a hollow attempt to get what he wants using flattery. But it comes at the expense of the memory of a dead American college student.
Featured image via screen capture