North Korean state media has praised US presidential hopeful Donald Trump, describing him as a “wise politician” and “far-sighted candidate” who could help unify the Korean peninsula.
An editorial in DPRK Today, an official media outlet, welcomed the Republican presidential candidate’s proposal to hold direct talks with Kim Jong-un, saying he could help bring about Pyongyang’s “Yankee go home” policy.
“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies’,” wrote Han Yong-mook, who described 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 Korea’ perspective?”
Analysts said that although the editorial was not officially from Pyongyang, it was sure to reflect thinking inside the regime.
“This is very striking,” said Aidan Foster-Carter of the University of Leeds.“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 US policy in the region.”
The editorial referred to Trump’s speech in March, in which he suggested he would withdraw US military forces from Seoul if South Korea did not increase spending on defence.
“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 urged Seoul not to increase defence spending so as to prompt a US withdrawal, and urged American voters not to choose the Democratic hopeful, Hillary Clinton.
“The president that US 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.”
John Feffer, director of Foreign Policy In Focus, said the editorial indicated Pyongyang’s wish to break through Washington’s strategic patience policy.
“[Trump]’s the Dennis Rodman of American politics — quirky, flamboyant, risk-taking. At the moment he’s also an outsider. But Pyongyang is hoping that either he’ll be elected [and follow through on his pledges] or that his pronouncements will change the political game in the US and influence how the Democratic party and mainstream Republicans view Korean issues.”
The 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.
A version of this article first appeared on NK News – North Korean news