Months ago, Donald Trump drew some gasps when he broke from custom and complimented the leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un. On Tuesday, that praise seemed to score Trump his most recent endorsement when the official North Korean state media outlet, DPRK Today, announced in an editorial it supports the businessman.
In the endorsement, the paper praised Trump as a “wise politician” and a “farsighted candidate” capable of helping to unify the Korean Peninsula. The paper also welcomed Trump’s proposal to meet face to face for negotiations with Kim.
“This is very striking,” Aidan Foster-Carter, a professor at the University of Leeds in England, told the Guardian. “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,” Foster-Carter said.
The editorial also urged South Korea to maintain its current levels of military spending, which Trump has said would prompt him to remove troops from the peninsula. He wants the country to foot more of the bill for military presence there. The authors also urged Americans not to vote for likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.
It's unlikely American voters will take marching orders from North Korea; the country regularly tops the list of the United States’ greatest enemies, according to Gallup. So far in 2016, North Korea leads, with 16 percent of Americans saying it’s the greatest rival to the U.S. Russia comes in a close second at 15 percent, followed by Iran (14 percent) and China (12 percent). No other country tops 10 percent of the American vote in the poll.