North Korea protested western sanctions and complained about President Trump in an unusual letter to the Australian parliament, according to Australian officials.
"This is an unprecedented step for North Korea to send a letter directly to another government in this way," Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop told local press. "It's not the way they usually publish their global messages."
The letter, dated at the end of September but newly published by Australian media, reiterated the regime's distaste for President Trump's speech at the United Nations General Assembly. It also contained a complaint about the recent sanctions passed by the UN Security Council, which the North Koreans say has become a tool of Trump's "America First" foreign policy agenda.
"The U.S. brought to their knees those countries devoid of principle, narrow-minded and selfish countries seeking after their interests with its nuclear stick and force and then cooked up the illegal ‘sanctions resolution' against [North Korea]," argued the letter, transmitted by the North Korean embassy in Indonesia. "[The sanctions] deny the elementary right to existence of the Korea people and check their normal economic development in breach of the inviolable U.N. charter by abusing the U.N. Security Council. This is an intensive act of the U.S.-first principle."
North Korea's parliamentary Foreign Affairs Committee was credited with the writing of the letter, which seemed to designed to weaken western support for the sanctions by threatening a worldwide military cataclysm. "Trump threatened to totally destroy the [North Korean regime]," it wrote. "It is an extreme act of threatening to totally destroy the whole world."
Dictator Kim Jong Un's regime rattled the world over the summer by testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that could have the range to deliver a nuclear warhead to Alaska or parts of Australia. But if the letter was designed to intimidate Australian officials, it may have backfired.
"This is a response to the pressure that Australia, the United States, China, Japan, South Korea and others are putting on North Korea so that it will refrain from its current conduct of provocative and threatening behavior and will be compelled back to the negotiating table," Bishop said. "I see it as a positive sign."