If you find yourself feeling a tingle of approval for North Korea's murderous despot just because he threatened the president of the U.S., it's time you step away from politics. If you find yourself equating the unquestionably evil dictator Kim Jong Un with President Trump, it's time to re-examine your values.
Unfortunately, it's unlikely the anti-Trump activists who seemed to derive satisfaction this week from Kim's response to Trump's U.N. warning will sign off any time soon.
Trump said Tuesday during his address before the U.N. General Assembly in New York: "The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. 'Rocket Man' is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime."
On Thursday, Kim responded.
"The mentally deranged behavior of the U.S. president openly expressing on the U.N. arena the unethical will to 'totally destroy' a sovereign … makes even those with normal thinking faculty think about discretion and composure," he said, according to a translation provided by the Korean Central News Agency.
The statement added, "Action is the best option in treating the dotard who, hard of hearing, is uttering only what he wants to say."
The response from the president's more fervent critics has been mixed. Some have seemingly hailed the statement. Some have concocted conspiracies about the commander-in-chief. Others have used the incident to draw comparisons between the two very different leaders.
Comedian and grieving Hillary Clinton supporter Chelsea Handler tweeted this:
Former MSNBC host Touré added elsewhere, "Kim Jong Un is right: 'Far from making remarks that can be viewed as helpful to defusing tension, [Trump] made unprecedented rude nonsense.'"
Kim Jong Un is right: Far from making remarks that can be viewed as helpful to defusing tension, [Trump] made unprecedented rude nonsense.— Tour (@Toure) September 22, 2017
A quick aside: The Kim Jong Un statement made available to the West is a translation. He didn't actually use the word "dotard." He called the president an "old lunatic beast."
"[That feeling when] you realize the over-the-top leader of North Korea understated the mental problems of the President of the United States," said Washington Post columnist David Rothkopf.
Talk show host Bishop Talbert Swan said:
British author Harry Leslie Smith joined in:
What I said is given half the chance #donaldtrump would be as evil and cruel as #KimJongUn and I can't say same for any other Rep president. https://t.co/0Ib0r9IiNn— Harry Leslie Smith (@Harryslaststand) September 22, 2017
He explained further in a follow-up note, "What do you think cutting funds for meals on wheels & food stamps does but drive Americans into hunger."
Interesting stuff. Remember, these aren't trolls on Twitter. These are verified social media accounts of real people.
Anyway, for no reason at all, here is a firsthand account of life inside one of the Hermit Kingdom's many, many, many gulags. The following sketches come via Kim Kwang-il, a defector who reportedly spent nearly three years in a prison camp for the crime of smuggling pine nuts. His sketches featured prominently in a 2014 United Nations commission report.
The "pigeon torture": "[W]e are bound to stay in that position until the jailer feels that you have been tortured enough. So the torture goes on until the time has come to the satisfaction of the jailer. This is the pigeon torture. This is a very strange word in Korea and to you. Your hands are bound back and if they tie you like this, your chest comes out forward and in this position you are tortured."
Kim told the U.N. panel: "We are supposed to think there's an imaginary motorcycle and we are supposed to be in this position as if we are riding the motorcycle. And for this, we pose as if we are airplanes ourselves. We are flying. And if we stand like this there's no way that you can hold that position for a long time. You are bound to fall forward. Everybody in the detention centre goes through this kind of this torture."
From the U.N. report: "[D]ecisions, actions and omissions by the State and its leadership caused the death of at least hundreds of thousands of people and inflicted permanent physical and psychological injuries on those who survived."
Wagons meant originally for cattle and livestock are used to transport human prisoners.
"The State has used food as a means of control over the population. … The State has also used deliberate starvation as a means of control and punishment in detention facilities. This has resulted in the deaths of many political and ordinary prisoners."
The sketches depict people eating snakes and rats.
And this from the report: "Kim was forced to crawl on his hands and knees into a cell with 40 other prisoners. Guards said: ‘When you get to this prison you are not human, you are just like animals, and as soon as you get to this prison, you have to crawl just like animals.'"