Donald Trump has bragged in the past about his terrific relationship with brutal family-murdering dictator Kim Jong Un and swooned over the “beautiful” letters that Kim has sent on special occasions. But of late, Trump and his nuclear-armed North Korean BFF have had something of a falling-out—thankfully, to this point, without fallout. Kim has been launching new missiles, building more nuclear weapons, generally sending a message of big-D Doom, and calling Trump a “dotard.”
So, concerned that his friendship was in peril, Trump did what any kid in the back row of math class would do when he wants to know if that girl with the pigtails still likes him—he got a friend to carry a note. As The Hill reports, rather than risk being personally rebuffed, Trump asked South Korean President Moon Jae-in to deliver a birthday message to Kim. While President Moon reported that the message was delivered, he did not reveal the contents, or what reply, if any, Kim sent back to Trump. Because no one likes it when teacher grabs the note and reads it in front of the class.
But then, Trump has some reason to be concerned other than just being called a foolish old man. Kim has yet to send his promised Christmas present. In mid-December, the North Korean dictator promised that Pyongyang was readying a gift for the American people. Though Trump, and this is true, speculated that it might be something like “a beautiful vase,” expectations were that Kim was signaling the launch of a new longer-range missile, a suspicion that was increased by activity at the facility North Korea uses for its nascent space program. And though the launch did not make it in time for the holidays, it still appears that North Korea is taking steps to prepare for showcasing a new weapon.
Not that it really needs another demonstration. North Korea has already tested missiles that can reach not just Japan and other targets in the Pacific, but also the West Coast of the United States. And no matter how many times Trump brags that he’s not going to let Iran get a nuclear weapon, on his watch North Korea has greatly expanded its nuclear arsenal. Recent estimates indicate that North Korea now has around 38 nuclear bombs—a number that has doubled in a year. Kim may not be sending presents to Trump, but Trump has certainly been very, very good for North Korea.
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.