NEW YORK, Ny. – President-elect Donald J. Trump received backlash from Democrats and members of the intelligence community on Thursday when it came to light that he engaged in a ninety-minute Skype video session last weekend with North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un. Trump described the unprecedented discussion – which critics have called a clear violation of U.S. protocol – as “extraordinary,” saying the North Korean dictator appeared to be in very good health.
“We had a wonderful conversation,” the former reality TV star said of Kim. “He’s very different from the way he’s portrayed by the media and, you know, that’s something I can relate to.” Trump said he was surprised by exactly how much he and the Supreme Leader have in common. “We both love meatloaf,” Trump exclaimed. “He said he eats it all the time. I said ‘You ought to come to New York, I’ll give you the best meatloaf you’ve ever had in your life.”
Aside from sharing a love of baked ground meat, Trump and his North Korean counterpart discussed a wide range of issues including the economy, nuclear proliferation, and the reunification of North and South Korea. Trump, who repeatedly made the assertion during his campaign that more countries should have nuclear weapons, said he was willing to look into the possibility of loosening certain sanctions against the North Korean regime that might hinder the progress of its nuclear program. “If they had that nuclear threat, I’m sure it would be very good thing in terms of helping to unify the Korean peninsula,” the president-elect said.
For his part, Mr. Trump said he offered praise for North Korea’s single-party political system. “I told him it was a very impressive thing to have such a successful political party that has lasted so long in that country.” During his nearly two-hour long conversation with the Supreme Leader, Mr. Trump expressed an interest in implementing a similar single-party system in the United States as part of his effort to unite the country. “I think it would be very good thing to have,” said Trump, adding, “You’d see a change in this country like you wouldn’t believe.”
Vice president-elect Mike Pence, who heads Trump’s transition team, described the ninety-minute Skype session as “very casual,” telling The New York Times that it’s not unusual for world leaders to reach out following an election. “This was the elected leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – a democracy very similar to ours – offering his congratulations and good wishes,” the vice president-elect explained. Mr. Pence said he believes the call will have “little to no impact” on U.S.-South Korean relations.