Not just North Korea Trump has a South Korea problem too
The Trump administration has spent a lot of time fulminating over North Korea’s nuclear threat, but its tough rhetoric hasn’t furrowed brows only in Pyongyang. On the other side of the Demilitarized Zone, the last frozen border of the Cold War, South Koreans are getting more than a bit concerned, too.
Observers there can point to a range of confusing and worrying statements made by President Trump in just the past few days. In an interview Monday, Trump called North Korean despot Kim Jong Un a “smart cookie” and said he would be willing to meet Kim under the right circumstances. This came after Trump claimed he wants Seoul to foot the bill for an expensive new missile-defense system the United States has set up in South Korea known as the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, or THAAD.
Trump also called into question a George W. Bush-era trade deal with South Korea that was implemented in 2012. Put this all on top of comments Trump made last month suggesting that the Korean Peninsula was historically part of China and it’s no surprise that many in South Korea are not so pleased. Some even told The Washington Post last month that they’re worried Trump may be a bigger threat to their lives than Kim.