North Korea Attacks Trump's Jerusalem Move, Says U.S. 'Cancer' Should Lose U.N. Veto

Salam Rabaa, the Palestinian owner of Rabaa restaurant, and his son gesture with their right hands while imitating a poster of North Korean supreme leader Kim Jong Un, at the Jabaliya refugee camp in the Gaza strip on December 17. The sign reads in Arabic: "Rabaa restaurant announces special discounts reaching up to 80 percent for Korean patrons, in appraisal of the role of the Korean leader towards our Palestinian cause." MOHAMMED ABED/AFP/Getty Images

North Korea has condemned President Donald Trump's recent recognition of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, a controversial move that has alienated Washington from much of the international community and has inspired a debate on reforming the United Nations.

Ruling Korean Workers' Party official newspaper Rodong Sinmun published a commentary Thursday slamming U.S. involvement in the Middle East and especially Trump's historic shift on Jerusalem, where the Republican leader said he would move the U.S. embassy in spite of a global consensus that opposing Israeli and Palestinian claims to the city remain unresolved. The move angered proponents of an independent Palestinian state, for which North Korea pledged its "solidarity and support."

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"The U.S., hideous harasser of peace, bringing the holocaust of new war to the Mid-east and the world is disqualified to talk about the international peace and security," the article read, according to the official Korean Central News Agency.

"The U.S. trying to lord it over the U.N. and the world is the cancer-like entity on the planet," it later added. "The arrogant imperialism cannot escape international isolation and denunciation."

The U.N. Security Council, which has repeatedly sanctioned North Korea over supreme leader Kim Jong Un's refusal to give up his ballistic and nuclear weapons, also attempted to censure the U.S. after Trump's December 6 announcement on Jerusalem. As one of five permanent members, however, the U.S. was able to veto a resolution condemning Trump's position.

In response, Rodong Sinmun urged the U.N. on Thursday to "keenly realize the need for the reform of the U.N. Security Council under the tragic situation in which the U.N. is crudely lynched by the high-handed and arbitrary practices of one member nation the U.S."

Days after the U.S. used its veto privilege, a second resolution that was supported by North Korea and critical of Trump's position passed 128-9 in the U.N. General Assembly, and the U.S. could not veto it. Trump threatened to cut financial aid to any country that voted against the U.S. and, after it passed, the U.N. announced a $285 million budget cut, something the U.S. took credit for.

Like North Korea, Trump has deeply criticized the U.N., but his grievances have revolved around resolutions opposed to Israel as well as accusations of inefficiency due to "bureaucracy and mismanagement."

A Palestinian youth holds a burning tire during clashes with Israeli forces following a protest against the U.S.'s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, on December 27, 2017 in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. MUSA AL SHAER/AFP/Getty Images

In the wake of World War II, both North Korea and Israel established their governments in 1948 amid deadly conflicts that would only get bloodier in the coming years. The three-year war between communist North Korea, which was backed by the Soviet Union and China, and South Korea, which was backed by the U.N. and the U.S., was considered the first armed confrontation of the Cold War and allegations of U.S. war crimes has remained a mainstay of North Korean politics ever since.

While Jerusalem, which was considered a holy city by Jews, Christians and Muslims, was initially designated an international site, Israel's 1948 creation led to a war with neighboring Arab countries and a mass displacement of Palestinians. After the conflict, Jerusalem was split between Israel and Jordan, but Israel seized the entire city after another war in 1967. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in 1980, a move that left only limited joint Jordanian-Palestinian administration of Islamic holy sites and was not recognized internationally.

Like the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, the Arab-Israeli conflict was deeply affected by the Cold War, with North Korea backing Palestinian nationalist militant groups and supporting Arab forces battling Israel, which all three generations of North Korea's ruling family have regarded as an outpost of U.S. imperialism in the Middle East. In addition to Gaza, Kim also has been honored in parts of southern Lebanon supportive of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and his allies.

Both North Korea and Israel also were believed to have developed and currently be in possession of nuclear weapons despite not being parties to the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.