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North Korea has undergone a number of challenges in recent months after two devastating monsoons, the threat of coronavirus and sanctions furthering poverty in the state. Last weekend, it was claimed that five Economic Ministry workers were executed by firing squad after they criticised Kim Jong-un’s policies. Famine and starvation have gripped the nation for decades but in the advent of the recent floods and COVID-19 stalling trade with China, Kim’s main ally, conditions have worsened. Sanctions levied against the state, mainly related to their pursuit of nuclear weapons, add further problems to this mix. The individuals who were believed to have been executed called for the leader to appeal for outside help. In the past, it was hoped that the US would scrap tariffs against the hermit kingdom, under President Donald Trump. Unearthed accounts reveal how they have thrown themselves behind the incumbent leader and publicly denounced his rival Republican candidate Joe Biden.
The nation’s ruler appeared to favour the former businessman turned president due to his approach to negotiations – which many claim favour showmanship over substance.
Chad O’Carroll, from NK News, explained that in November last year KCNA – the nation’s main news service – lambasted President Trump’s rival Joe Biden and made a number of other moves.
The state-moderated service wrote: “Rabid dogs like Biden can hurt lots of people. They must be beaten to death with a stick before it’s too late.”
Mr O’Carroll elaborated: “This is in my opinion a clear North Korean preference for Donald Trump, I don’t think they are interested in Biden.
“I don’t think they would be particularly interested in a slow drawn-out traditional diplomatic process at this stage, especially with all of these problems.
“They need something prompt to relieve this pressure and I do think Trump is the only one that they feel can probably offer that.”
He also referenced the “special space carved out” in North Korean state media for the current leader and that Kim Yo-jong, the ruler’s sister, praised President Trump twice this year.
Victor Cha, a Korean-American who used to work for the White House, felt that Mr Biden and Kim Jong-un would have more stern exchanges if he is elected in November.
He told last week’s ‘The Impossible State’ podcast: “The North Koreans have a clear preference in this election – they want Trump again.
“They don’t want Biden because that means real diplomacy, real substantive negotiations where we are focused like a laser beam on their capabilities and denuclearisation and care less about the show.
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“That’s the complete opposite of what the North Koreans want, they want someone who is interested in the show.
“[Someone who] will agree to things that allow them to basically keep their capabilities, while declaring all of these wonderful accomplishments that have been made.”
Mr Cha felt that while Mr Biden would not shut the door on potential talks, he would enter into negotiations with clear objectives set out.
By comparison, when President Trump met Kim Jong-un, the dictator “refused to talk about nuclear weapons” and did not agree to any sort of disarmament plan.
Mr Cha felt that despite this North Korea would “force themselves up the ladder of items” on the agenda – as they had done previously with missile tests and verbal threats.
He added: “Particularly in difficult, dire situations it’s not uncommon for them – as in the past – to lash out as a way to try to get attention and to try to get help.”
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