Defying decades of simmering tensions between the United States and Communist North Korea, President Trump made history Monday leaving a face-to-face meeting in Singapore with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, with a signed a document stating Pyongyang would work toward “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
In a press conference following his meeting with Jong Un, Trump explained the human rights record regarding North Korea was discussed during the meeting, but the primary goal was to negotiate denuclearization.
Trump also noted that the meeting with Jong Un may not have happened if not for the death of Otto Warmbier, a college student who was arrested in North Korea in 2016 for allegedly stealing a propaganda poster. Warmbier was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fell into a coma while incarcerated. He was brought back to the U.S. in June 2017 only to die a few days later.
Rather than celebrating Trump’s historic achievements, MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough railed against the President Tuesday morning, claiming the Commander-in-Chief is “sick” for not publicly condemning North Korea’s human right’s record during the summit and repudiating the Communist regime’s treatment of Warmbier.
“I thought it was tortured logic at best to say that the North Koreans murder of Otto Warmbier was a time of reflection for them – that’s just not true at all. I personally think it’s sick for him to suggest such a thing about the most murderous regime, one of the most murderous regimes on the face of the earth,” Scarborough lamented.
“We learned after the fall of the Soviet Union, that when Reagan became president and started talking constantly about the liberation of Russians and people in eastern Europe and talked about freedom there were whispers in gulags in the Soviet about tapping on the walls, about ‘Reagan the liberator.’ he brought hope to those who were imprisoned there with great moral authority and he helped to end the cold war,” he continued. “Here, you have Donald trump who has made it clear that – well, that human rights aren’t going to be a part of any negotiations.”
Trump is too simple-minded to understand human rights is the “hallmark of sound American policy,” Scarborough’s guest, presidential historian Jon Meacham, added.
“Complexity is not Donald Trump’s friend, obviously, and never has been and isn’t here,” he said. “Suddenly that personal characteristic – his need to simplify everything, to make a deal out of it in which he is a protagonist and the person across the table is a co-star to some extent, is now intersecting with the life of nations.”
Unlike Reagan, who “knew how to make a deal,” Meacham noted, Trump’s foreign policy is not “humane.”
“Remember [Reagan] said his philosophy of the Cold War, ‘we win/you lose,’ but that’s the caricature. that was the union negotiator, he understood how to make a deal. He was deeply concerned about the human rights abuses and was someone who rejected the real politic of ideas of détente in the 1970s, the Henry Kissinger view,” he said. “Reagan did bring a moral dimension to policy. George Herbert Walker Bush, who is 94 today, did much the same thing as he managed the end of the cold war. We don’t have to be sentimental to be humane – and I think that is the hallmark of the sound American policy.