North Koreans Call Donald Trump Supreme Leader After Singapore Summit, Praising Him Like Their Own Dictator

In the wake of a historic summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, North Korean media has started lavishing praise on the U.S. President.

In some cases, the state-run media has even started calling him Supreme Leader, a name typically reserved for the country’s dictator Kim Jong Un, or Kim’s father and grandfather before him. All of these North Korean “Supreme Leaders” have a personality cult surrounding them. And now it appears Trump’s overtures to North Korea and willingness to treat Kim like a statesman has earned the U.S. President a similar amount of deference.  

North Korean television, which broadcast news about the meeting days after it took place, showed images of Trump and Kim walking together and called them the “Supreme Leaders” of their countries.

The authoritarian regime in North Korea has long sought an audience with a U.S. President. But simultaneously, most of the country’s population has been taught that the U.S. in a nation of imperialists determined to destroy their country. The fact that Trump is now being portrayed as a leader worthy of respect demonstrates the Korean regime, which maintains complete control over every aspect of the media and every public message in its country, views Trump as someone it can work with.

This may be because the agreement Trump reached with Kim was, according to many experts, one of the weakest and most vague the North Korean regime was ever offered by a U.S. administration. In a joint statement, Trump and Kim agreed that North Korea would pursue the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. But no timeline for this denuclearization was laid out, and it’s unclear whether the two countries have come to an agreement on what complete denuclearization means.

For example, some North Korea analysts said Pyongyang believes giving up its nuclear weapons only makes sense if the U.S. agrees to withdraw all of its troops from South Korea. The U.S. currently has around 28,000 troops stationed in South Korea, and it’s unlikely the U.S. military leadership will support a complete withdrawal. For now, Trump has given North Korea the assurance that joint U.S. and South Korean military exercises will be halted while the two countries pursue peace and denuclearization. But a long-term solution to this issue will need to be reached eventually.

North Korea may also demand the U.S. pledge to abandon the “regional nuclear umbrella,” a term that signifies the U.S. would get involved to protect regional allies if a conflict were to break out.

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