A North Korean official told the Associated Press Friday that dictator Kim Jong Un and his cronies are longing for former President Barack Obama’s soft administration — and that President Donald Trump is too hard on them.
Need anymore proof that Obama’s foreign policy was too weak and Trump is returning strength to America?
Vice Minister Han Song Ryol said Pyongyang has determined the Trump administration is “more vicious and more aggressive” than that of Obama.
Obama’s “lead from behind policy” allowed North Korea to act in any way they wanted. He never asked China to intervene or threatening preemptive strikes when North Korea violated nuclear policy… both things that Trump has done in less than 100 days in office.
And it has Kim Jong Un practically pulling his hair out.
Ryol added that North Korea will keep building up its nuclear arsenal in “quality and quantity” and said Pyongyang is ready to go to war if that’s what Trump wants.
He attempted to blame North Korea’s fear of the U.S. military build-up on Trump’s tweets, saying they are increasing tensions.
But Trump is utilizing the social platform to publicly call other nations to enforce U.N. sanctions on Pyongyang for launching multiple nuclear tests.
Trump posted a tweet Tuesday in which he said the North is “looking for trouble” and reiterated his call for more pressure from Beijing, North Korea’s economic lifeline, to clamp down on trade and strengthen its enforcement of U.N. sanctions to persuade Pyongyang to denuclearize.
Trump has threatened that if Beijing isn’t willing to do more to squeeze the North, the U.S. might take the matter into its own hands.
Tensions between Pyongyang and Washington go back to President Harry Truman and the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in an armistice, not a peace treaty. But the heat has been rising rapidly since Trump took office in January.
This year’s joint war games between the U.S. and South Korean military are the biggest so far — a sign to Kim Jong Un that the United States is well prepared to defend ourselves and allies.
The USS Carl Vinson aircraft carrier has been diverted back to the waters off Korea after heading for Australia, and U.S. satellite imagery suggests the North could conduct another underground nuclear test at any time. Pyongyang recently tested a ballistic missile and claims it is close to perfecting an intercontinental ballistic missile and nuclear warhead that could attack the U.S. mainland.
Many experts believe that at its current pace of testing, North Korea could reach that potentially game-changing milestone within a few years — under Trump’s watch as president. Despite reports that Washington is considering military action if the North goes ahead with another nuclear test, Han did not rule out the possibility of a test in the near future.
“That is something that our headquarters decides,” he said during the 40-minute interview in Pyongyang, which is now gearing up for a major holiday — and possibly a big military parade — on Saturday. “At a time and at a place where the headquarters deems necessary, it will take place.”
The North conducted two such tests last year alone. The first was of what it claims to have been a hydrogen bomb and the second was its most powerful ever. Expectations are high the North may put its newest missiles on display during Saturday’s parade.
The annual U.S.-South Korea military exercises have consistently infuriated the North, which views them as rehearsals for an invasion. Washington and Seoul deny that, but reports that exercises have included “decapitation strikes” aimed at the North’s leadership have fanned Pyongyang’s anger.
The Associated Press contributed to this article.