In his inaugural speech, Trump proclaimed the importance of putting American interests first, and adopting an isolationist mentality. In essence he proclaimed that we would no longer concern ourselves with the plight of people around the world. Instead we would put America First, and to hell with the rest of the world.
“From this day forward it is going to be only America First, America First!… Every decision on…foreign affairs will be made to benefit American workers and American families… Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never let you down.”
His speech was memorable because the message was that his administration would focus on the economic problems in America, and not be distracted by the plight of any other people around the world. Now Trump’s rhetoric is going to be put to the test. Will he turn a blind eye to the inhumanity of the North Korean regime? With the country focused on the death of a young American, Trump will be forced to face the first foreign affairs decision of his Presidency.
Who knows what the Donald will do? His recent comments on Twitter don’t help answer that question. Trump has previously looked to China to exert influence over North Korea, leaning heavily on Chinese President Xi Jinping for his assistance. The two leaders had a high-profile summit in Florida in April and Trump has frequently praised Xi while resisting criticizing Chinese trade practices. Now Trump writes on Twitter:
“While I greatly appreciate the efforts of President Xi & China to help with North Korea, it has not worked out. At least I know China tried!”
On Tuesday, a U.S. official, said U.S. spy satellites had detected movements recently at North Korea’s nuclear test site near a tunnel entrance, but it was unclear if these were preparations for a new nuclear test.
Certainly the evidence is available if Trump wants to justify intervention. It is clear that North Korea has crossed the line of both violation of individual human rights,
and taking action that threatens humanity as a whole. Without doubt North Korea has threatened the civilized world by developing and continuing to test nuclear weapons. They are so proud of their nuclear capabilities they parade the weapons in public as if to say we are unafraid of world condemnation.
No longer can Donald Trump pretend to be unaffected by foreign affairs. The “affairs” of North Korea are now the “affairs” of the world. The question is whether putting “America First,” in Trump’s mind, will include appropriate sanctions or military intervention against North Korea.