The Korea Herald


What Trump has said about Korea

By Korea Herald

Published : Nov. 9, 2016 - 20:38

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The surprise victory of Donald Trump has many officials in Seoul looking up what exactly he has said about South Korea on his campaign trail, in interviews and debates.
Here are some of the things the US Republican real estate mogul turned politician publicly said about Korea -- both South and North. -- Ed.

On North Korean leader Kim Jong-un

“If you look at North Korea -- this guy (Kim Jong-un), he’s like a maniac, OK? And you have to give him credit. How many young guys -- he was like 26 or 25 when his father died -- take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden, you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that? Even though it is a culture and it’s a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one. I mean, this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him. Because he really does have missiles. And he really does have nukes.” (Iowa, January, 2016)

Yonhap Yonhap
“I would get China to make that guy (Kim Jong-un) disappear, in one form or another, very quickly.”
“This guy’s a bad dude.”
“Any young guy who can take over from his father with all those generals and everybody else that probably wants the position -- this is not somebody to be underestimated.” (CBS Interview, February)

“I wouldn’t go there (North Korea). That I can tell you. If (Kim Jong-un) came here, I’d accept him, but I wouldn’t give him a state dinner like we do for China and all these other people that rip us off when we give them these big state dinners. We give them state dinners like you’ve never seen.”
“We should be eating a hamburger on a conference table, and we should make better deals with China and others and forget the state dinners.” (Atlanta, June)

On US armed forces’ stationed in South Korea

“As far as Japan and South Korea are concerned, all I’m saying is we defend them. They are paying us a tiny fraction of what it’s costing. I want them to pay.” (MSNBC “Morning Joe,” May)

“It’s peanuts compared to what it’s costing. ... We are defending South Korea, we’re defending so many countries, we get peanuts.”
“I ordered 4,000 television sets recently for a big project. They all come from South Korea. My only bidder was South Korea, except for Sony, which is in Japan, and they lost their way, OK?”
“My only bidder -- whether it‘s LG or whether it’s Samsung -- these are wealthy countries. We have 28,000 soldiers on the border of South Korea." (“No Labels” conference, New Hampshire, October)

[FACT CHECK] As of 2016, South Korea pays 944.1 billion won for the US Forces Korea, which is estimated to be less than half of the full cost.

On a nuclear arms race on the Korean peninsula

“In many ways, the world is changing. Right now, you have Pakistan and you have North Korea and you have China and you have Russia and you have India and you have the United States and many other countries have nukes.”
“It’s not like, gee whiz, nobody has them.” (Fox News, April)

On armed intervention of the US

“We can’t be the policeman of the world...What we do get out of it? It’s time that other people stopped looking at us as stupid, stupid people.” (Rothchild, Wisconsin, April)

On the prospect of war between North Korea and South Korea or Japan

“It would be a terrible thing but if they do, they do...Good luck. Enjoy yourself, folks.” (Rothchild, Wisconsin, April)

On China and North Korea

“China has control -- absolute control -- over North Korea. They don’t say it, but they do...And they should make that problem disappear. China is sucking us dry. They’re taking our money. They’re taking our jobs. They‘re doing so much. We have rebuilt China with what they’ve taken out.”
“We have power over China, China should do that. I would force China to do it economically.” (CBS, February)

On nuclear proliferation

“Can I be honest with you? It’s going to happen, anyway. It’s going to happen anyway. It’s only a question of time. They’re going to start having them or we have to get rid of them entirely. But you have so many countries already, China, Pakistan, you have so many countries, Russia, you have so many countries right now that have them.” (CNN interview, March)

On trade with South Korea

“My opponent (Hillary Clinton), on the other hand, has supported virtually every trade agreement that has been destroying our middle class. She supported NAFTA. .. She supported the job killing trade deal with South Korea.
I pledge to never sign any trade agreement that hurts our workers, or that diminishes our freedom and independence.”
“Our horrible trade agreements with China and many others, will be totally renegotiated.” (Republican National Convention, Cleveland, July)