Emboldened by his big win in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Donald Trump took to the airwaves on Wednesday morning, touching on a number of current issues that would likely be impacted through a Trump presidency. As controversial as many of his domestic policy proposals have proven to be thus far, the GOP frontrunner’s foreign policy solutions often raise equal or greater alarm among moderates and progressives, and his comments on CBS This Morning were continuations of that narrative. In a conversation with the show’s hosts, Trump seemed to tacitly approve of a hypothetical initiative by the United States that would result in the assassination of an international leader and head of state – namely, North Korean president Kim Jong-un.
“Well, you know, I’ve heard of worse things, frankly,” Donald Trump said when asked if he would be open to orchestrating Kim’s murder. “I mean this guy’s a bad dude – and don’t underestimate him… Any young guy that 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.”
North Korea recently prompted the outrage of the international community by testing a long-range missile. Although the nation officially maintains that the missile was used to launch a satellite, many have expressed concern that it can be used as a weapon to threaten neighbors and enemies.
Trump also suggested that he would actively pressure China to deal directly with security threats posed by North Korea, although he was decidedly short on details. He also did not expound upon how he would preserve a working relationship with China despite the fact that he has also leveled harsh words against that country through public forums and via his official policy statements. In a position paper on his official website, Trump accuses China of “financial blackmail” and says that an integral strategy in gaining leverage against that nation will be to designate the country as a “currency manipulator.” Nevertheless, the real estate mogul appears to believe that he will ultimately be able to bring the populous and influential nation into step against North Korea.
“I would get China to make that guy [Kim Jong Un] disappear in one form or another very quickly,” Trump said. “China has control, absolute control of 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 and doing so much. We have rebuilt China with what they’ve taken out. We have power over China. China should do that.”
It is worth noting that the assassination of foreign leaders by United States operatives was banned via an executive order by President Gerald Ford in 1976. Ford’s order was later replaced and bolstered by an Executive Order by U.S. President Jimmy Carter in 1978. In fact, Section 2-305 of Executive Order 12036 also bans Americans from conspiring to engage in assassinations.
Trump previously raised eyebrows when he overtly advocated for American operatives to kill the ostensibly innocent family members of terrorists. While that tactic is banned under the Geneva Conventions, as noted by Inquisitr, his comments were widely condemned as potential violations of international law.
Donald Trump also recently rekindled the debate on the use of waterboarding against suspected terrorists, proclaiming that if he is elected president, he will re-institute the practice along with other, unspecified tactics that he described as “a hell of a lot worse.” Donald Trump’s son Eric echoed the sentiments, likening waterboarding to college fraternity hazing.
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