Amid This Scary North Korea News, Remember It's A Nation That Endorsed Trump

by John Haltiwanger

Between banning sarcasm so people will stop mocking North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and generating global condemnation for testing a nuclear warhead, North Korea has dominated headlines over the past 24 hours or so.

This is hardly the first time North Korea, a historic enemy of the United States, has displayed aggressive behavior.

Since 2006, it has conducted five underground nuclear tests. The latest, which occurred on Friday, generated the most powerful explosive yield of all the tests in North Korea so far, the New York Times reports.

This might signify North Korea is getting closer to developing a nuclear warhead it can actually use, and that's something much of the world finds very disturbing.

Even China, which has more or less tolerated North Korea's totalitarian regime thanks to its anti-American sentiments, condemned this nuclear test.

Needless to say, President Obama was also extremely disconcerted by all of this, and issued a very stern and lengthy statement.

As we discuss all of this, it's worth mentioning North Korea endorsed Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump for president.

In May, a North Korean state-run publication called DPRK Today described Trump as a "wise politician" and the correct choice for US voters in the November general election.

It also described Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton as "dull," while arguing that "there are many positive aspects to Trump's 'inflammatory policies.'"

Relatedly, there are parallels between Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, particularly in relation to how they respond to criticism and approach nuclear weapons.

A few months back, Donald Trump said he wanted to "open up" America's libel laws to make it easier to sue news organizations for writing "hit pieces."

While this isn't as extreme as banning sarcasm or insults against him, it's definitely very concerning in terms of upholding freedom of speech and of the press.

It seems Kim Jong Un and Trump are both willing to manipulate the law against anyone who might criticize them.

In terms of nuclear weapons, Trump has also raised a number of concerns.

Not long ago, Joe Scarborough of "Morning Joe" said a foreign policy expert who advised Trump told him the real estate mogul had asked why the US can't use its nuclear weapons. A lot of people found this very unsettling.

Trump has also said the US needs "unpredictability" when it comes to the use of nuclear weapons.

What's more, the Republican presidential nominee also implied on multiple occasions he's not worried about other countries obtaining nuclear weapons, or nuclear proliferation in general.

On Friday morning, in the wake of the news surrounding North Korea's latest nuclear test, Trump's campaign manager Kellyanne Conway was asked what the New York billionaire would do if the vehemently anti-American country obtained nuclear weapons that could reach the US.

Conway refused to answer the question and said,

He's not going to reveal all of his plans and he's made that very clear and maybe someone can ask him in a debate. But the fact is that this entire world would be put on notice that there's a strong leader in the White House.

In the past, Trump said he'd be willing to invite Kim Jong Un to the US to talk, which was a very controversial suggestion given the nature of the relationship between America and the oppressive North Korean regime.

Interestingly, when Trump was hinting he might run for president back in 1999, he suggested America should initiate a preemptive strike against North Korea to prevent it from obtaining nuclear weapons.

This is yet another example of how it's not entirely clear how Trump truly feels about an issue.

Meanwhile, back in the present day, Trump, his running mate Mike Pence and other people who support him have been praising Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is widely regarded as a tyrant.

Do we really want someone who compliments dictators and is endorsed by America's enemies to be our president?

Citations: Washington Post, NBC News, CNN, USA Today, Politico, Huffington Post, New York Times