North Korea this week called Donald Trump “selfish” for pulling out of the Paris climate accord, calling the U.S. president’s decision to withdraw “the height of egoism.”
A spokesman for North Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement Tuesday criticizing Trump’s announcement to pull out of the Paris climate agreement, adding that global warming is “one of the gravest challenges humankind is facing today.”
“This is the height of egoism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being even at the cost of the entire planet and, at the same time, a short-sighted and silly decision ignorant of the fact that the protection of the global environment is in their own interests,” the statement read. “The selfish act of the U.S. does not only have grave consequences for the international efforts to protect the environment, but poses great danger to other areas as well.”
As reported by Fox News, North Korea was one of the 200 countries that signed on to the agreement, with its leader, Kim Jong Un declaring war on deforestation in 2015.
Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Agreement drew heavy criticism not just within the U.S. but also from other countries. British billionaire Richard Branson on Thursday said Trump was “naive” for choosing to withdraw, pointing out his ignorance as to the efficiency of using clean energy as opposed to coal and oil and how it can create “massively more jobs.” Even China committed to cutting down on green house emissions when it signed an agreement with the administration of former President Barack Obama.
In defending his decision, Trump argued that the Paris agreement will be beneficial to emerging economies such as China’s and India’s at the expense of U.S. workers.
U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt defended Trump’s decision by pointing out that the U.S. reduced carbon emissions over the past years. He said that the U.S. government will continue to “maintain engagement” with other countries despite the Paris accord pull-out.
“We have a strong, strong approach to reducing emissions. We have nothing to be apologetic about,” Pruitt said. “America is not going to be disengaged, we are going to maintain engagement.”
The Paris agreement was signed in 2015, becoming one of President Obama’s most notable achievements. Coming together in the French capital, nearly 200 countries pledged that they will be cutting greenhouse gas emissions. As previously reported by the Washington Post, only two countries didn’t sign the agreement: Syria, which was in the middle of a cataclysmic civil war, and Nicaragua, who decided not to sign because they think the agreement didn’t do enough.
Despite its isolationalist policies, North Korea surprisingly signed the Paris agreement, vowing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by “37.4 percent compared with the levels of the 1990s.”
Experts have noted that North Korea is one of the countries that are most vulnerable to the effects of climate change, specifically because food shortages could be worsened by droughts or flooding. According to a report released Wednesday by NK News, experts David Von Hippel and Peter Hayes wrote that NoKor’s estimates as to greenhouse gas reductions are mostly accurate and that the Paris deal presents a great opportunity for the country to engage with the international community.
Since winning the U.S. presidency, Trump has been heavily criticized by numerous media outlets from North Korea, including KCNA, which at one time called the U.S. President “a mere beginner insofar as its ignorance of its rival (North Korea) was concerned.”
In a statement, North Korea warned other countries about a “dangerous ideological trend” that’s been set off since Trump was elected into office.
“Whoever chooses to blindly follow the Trump administration overpowered by its bravado should be fully aware that the judgment of history shall take them all as one,” the statement said.
[Featured Image by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images]