My Thoughts on North Korea

Dear Islanders,

Our President met with  Kim Jong-un. Given my background and personal affinity for that part of the world, I’d like to take this chance to share some thoughts. North Korea may seem like it's very far away, but it’s really not. We have more than a few residents of Grand Island from Russia, South Korea, and China—all places that border North Korea. And the news of this week brings that peculiar country a little closer.

Mixed feelings on the meeting

In short, I’m both relieved and horrified. I’m relieved because the chances of nuclear war are decreased. I’m horrified, however because of the tone used by our President. It was over the top. He said it was an “honor” to meet Kim,. “Great personality and very smart—good combination,” Gushing he said. “I learned that he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”

Not even President Moon of South Korea used such flattering words. And this from a man known more for his brutal verbal attacks than his congenial approach. His praise for Kim—who by birth or choice rules over a nation with no freedom of press, no freedom of speech, no freedom of thought—is chilling. North Korea is as close to the novel 1984 as any nation. Meanwhile, last week the President seemed eager to bomb Canada. His hostility towards the yoga-loving Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made me fearful.

We must fight for each other

I want us to negotiate with North Korea. It’s long overdue. There is an opportunity here. But America must stand for human rights and human dignity. That’s what made us great. That’s what the Founding Fathers fought for. That’s what’s in our constitution. I believe in American greatness. Not all nations are the same, and we cannot create a false equivalence.

The indifference of our President to human rights should concern us all. After all, it’s not just Kim he has praised. There are others, anyone who reads the newspaper knows. And then in 2016, the President  said the U.S. had no right to lecture Turkey on human rights. Further, he declined to condemn Russia’s brutal human rights record, saying “You got a lot of killers. What, you think our country’s so innocent?”

That’s the language once used by the left, that false balance, that manipulation of relevancy, that idea that Justin Trudeau is worse than Kim Jung-in. I don't believe it. America, as Reagan put it, is that city on the hill. There is truth, and light, and goodness. We must fight for it.

Highest regards,

Nate McMurray