On Monday, US President Donald Trump invited controversy yet again when he stated that he would meet the North Korean autocrat Kim Jong-un “under the right circumstances”.
The situation soon escalated when White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer defended Trump’s remark on the totalitarian leader.
Spicer claimed that the President was merely trying to protect the people of America by establishing friendly ties with these leaders.
Sean Spicer defends President Trump's statement that he would be "honored" to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. pic.twitter.com/BjjEX25Vju— HuffPost (@HuffPost) May 1, 2017
Trump had called Kim Jong-un “a pretty smart cookie” in a recent interview, which invited flak from all quarters.
Sean Spicer, White House Press SecretaryObviously, there’s a human rights component that goes into all of this and so it’s a balance. We wanna make sure that our country, our people are protected. This isn’t a simple yes-or-no kinda situation.
Kim Jong-un is not the only controversial head of state with whom Trump has tried to establish ties of amity. Trump recently invited the controversial president of the Phillipines, Rodrigo Duterte, to the White House.
The Filipino president has been found abusing human rights, chief among them being several extra-judicial killings in his anti-drug campaign. As many as 6,000 people were killed merely six months into Duterte’s presidency.
Voicing Trump’s opinion, Spicer praised Kim Jong-un during Monday’s White House press briefing, for taking North Korea “forward” at a “young age”.
He assumed power at a young age when his father passed away. And there was a lot of potential threats that could have come his way, and he’s obviously managed to lead a country forward, despite the obvious concerns that we and so many people have.Sean SpicerYou know, he is a young person to be leading a country with nuclear weapons. And so that set aside, I think the president recognises the threat that he posed and is doing everything he can to isolate that threat and to make sure we bring stability to the region.
In the case of Duterte, Spicer stated that the US President was not ignorant of the Filipino president’s human rights violations.
Sean SpicerI mean, the president gets fully briefed on the leaders that he’s speaking to, obviously, but the No. 1 concern of this president is to make sure that we do everything we can to protect our people — and specifically to economically and diplomatically isolate North Korea.