Having spread across the world, the coronavirus is forcing governments to mobilize and react accordingly, with leaders and elected officials undertaking significant measures to combat the pandemic. North Korea has been forced to do the same, and now the regime is reportedly being offered help from the U.S.
According to a new report from Reuters, President Donald Trump has contacted the Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un, offering to help the country tackle the pandemic. North Korea says that the letter Trump sent to Kim is a sign of “the special and very firm personal relations” between the two leaders.
According to North Korean state media, Trump “expressed his intent to render cooperation in the anti-epidemic work, saying that he was impressed by the efforts made by the Chairman to defend his people from the serious threat of the epidemic.”
A senior Trump administration official confirmed to Reuters that a letter has indeed been sent, noting that it is “consistent” with the president’s “efforts to engage global leaders during the ongoing pandemic.”
As the agency notes, since taking office, Trump has embarked on an effort to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, holding various meetings with Kim, including an unprecedented encounter in the demilitarized zone between the two Koreas.
No progress has been made since the June meeting, however, and North Korea has attempted a series of missile launches, in an apparent effort to force the U.S. and its allies to lift economic sanctions.
In the coronavirus letter, Trump also warned the North Korean leader that “if impartiality and balance are not provided and unilateral and greedy intention is not taken away, the bilateral relations will continue to aggravate.”
Trump has been criticized for his handling of the coronavirus crisis, with Democratic politicians arguing that he is failing the leadership test. Notably, former Vice President Joe Biden — who will likely face Trump in the general election — said during a press call earlier this week that the commander-in-chief is “all over the map.”
“We need action, not words. We need science, not more fiction. Mr. President, start to tell the truth,” Biden said, before laying out his own plan for the federal government to combat the pandemic outbreak. According to Biden, the Defense Production Act needs to be activated, and local governments need funding to mobilize reserve corps.
Furthermore, according to the former vice president, the Department of Defense needs to assist with logistics, as workers and small business owners need to be helped in order to weather the looming economic crisis.