In a surprising move that has sparked controversy and criticism, former President Donald Trump extended his congratulations to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un following North Korea’s admission to the World Health Organization’s Executive Board. Trump took to his Truth Social account on Friday to express his support, sharing an article about the news.
“Congratulations to Kim Jong Un,” Trump declared in his post, praising the North Korean leader.
However, Trump’s remarks immediately drew waves of criticism from within his own party. Prominent Republicans swiftly voiced their opposition to North Korea’s leading role in the World Health Organization.
“Kim Jong Un starves his own people. It’s a total farce that North Korea has a leading role at the World Health Organization,” commented Nikki Haley, a presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration.
Georgia Governor Brian Kemp also joined the chorus of disapproval, taking aim at Trump’s supportive stance. “Taking our country back from Joe Biden does not start with congratulating North Korea’s murderous dictator,” Kemp tweeted, expressing his disdain for Trump’s sentiments.
During his tenure as president, Trump made headlines for his highly publicized meetings with the North Korean dictator. The two leaders held summit meetings in Singapore and Vietnam, with Trump becoming the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in the reclusive country. While the ostensible purpose of these encounters was denuclearization talks, they ultimately yielded limited success.
Throughout his presidency, Trump often expressed admiration for Kim Jong Un, even going so far as to claim a “great relationship” with the dictator and publicly stating that they were “in love.” These statements raised eyebrows and drew criticism from many quarters.
North Korea’s admission to the World Health Organization’s Executive Board has ignited a fiery debate about the appropriateness of giving a prominent role to a regime with a history of human rights abuses and international tensions. The controversy surrounding Trump’s congratulatory message to Kim Jong Un adds another layer to the ongoing discussions about the role of diplomacy and international relations in addressing global health challenges.