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JH Ahn was an NK News contributor based in Seoul. He previously worked as an interpreter for United States Forces Korea.
A North Korean editorial on Tuesday said Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump can bring about North Korea’s “Yankee Go Home” slogan and ultimately help unify the Korean Peninsula.
The article published in state media outlet DPRK Today also referred to Trump’s proposal to hold direct talks with Kim Jong Un, praising the likely Republican nominee as a “wise politician” and “far-sighted presidential candidate.”
“In my personal opinion, there are many positive aspects to the Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies’,” wrote Han Yong Mook, who introduced himself as a Chinese North Korean scholar.
“Trump said ‘he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North,’ isn’t this fortunate from North Koreans’ perspective?”
Referring to the Trump’s speech in March to potentially withdraw the U.S. military forces from Seoul if it does not pay more for its defense costs, the North Korean editorial welcomed the policy with open arms.
“Yes do it, now … Who knew that the slogan ‘Yankee Go Home’ would come true like this? The day when the ‘Yankee Go Home’ slogan becomes real would be the day of Korean Unification.”
The article even urged Seoul not to pay its defense costs so that U.S. Forces would eventually withdraw from South Korea in the future, and urged American voters not to choose “dull” Hillary Clinton.
“The president that U.S. citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary – who claimed to adapt the Iranian model to resolve nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula – but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversation with North Korea.”
A researcher said the odd editorial indicates Pyongyang’s wish to break through Washington’s strategic patience policy.
“He’s the Dennis Rodman of American politics — quirky, flamboyant, risk-taking. At the moment he’s also an outsider,” John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy In Focus told NK News.
“But Pyongyang is hoping that either he’ll be elected (and follows through on his pledges) or that his pronouncements will change the political game in the United States and influence how the Democratic party and mainstream Republicans view Korean issues.”
“This is very striking,” Aidan Foster-Carter of the University of Leeds told NK News.
“Admittedly it is not exactly Pyongyang speaking, or at least not the DPRK government in an official capacity. But it is certainly Pyongyang flying a kite, or testing the waters. For the rest of us, this is a timely reminder – if it were needed – of just how completely Trump plans to tear up established U.S. policy in the region; and what an irresponsible, unthinking menace the man is.”
The unprecedented North Korean editorial came amid repeated calls for dialogue with Seoul and its ally Washington. Since May 17, Pyongyang published a government statement with the aim of improving relations with Seoul, and notified the South Korean government of a willingness to resume inter-Korean military talks.
Featured image: Flickr, Donald Trump