U.S. President Donald Trump delivers a speech at the National Assembly in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2017.

Credit: AP Photo/Lee Jin-man, Pool

Charlie Sennott: Trump Takes A 'Pro-Wrestling' Approach To North Korea

November 13, 2017

While on his 13-day tour of Asia, President Donald Trump engaged in a two-pronged diplomacy of sorts toward North Korea. At a speech in Seoul, Trump issued a stern message to the hermit kingdom, whose leader, Kim Jong Un, has repeatedly threatened the United States with nuclear attacks. 

"This a very different administration than the United States has had in the past. Do not underestimate us. And do not try us," Trump said.

Yet later on in the week, he took a different — yet familiar — tactic: he took to Twitter.

Trump wrote: "Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me 'old,' when I would NEVER call him 'short and fat?' Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend — and maybe someday that will happen!"

Charles Sennott, executive director of The GroundTruth Project, said the stakes of the U.S.' relationship with North Korea are too high for the president to be exchanging petty insults with Kim Jong Un.

"What we're dealing with is a potential for an escalation to the point of nuclear conflict," Sennott said. "This is not the Worldwide Wrestling Federation. This is the world of diplomacy."

Sennott believes the United States needs to pursue a more aggressive policy toward North Korea, but that 'Twitter diplomacy' is not the way to accomplish that.

"You can see wisdom in the way the Trump Administration is saying to China in particular, 'You need to do more' and being super clear about that. Those are good things. Strengthening our alliances in the region is a smart thing," Sennott said. "Poking a stick at a crazy tyrant is just not wise."

Click the audio player above to hear more from Charles Sennott.

WGBH News is supported by:
Back to top