North Korea expert attacks Donald Trump's ‘repugnant grovelling’ before Kim Jong-un

Donald Trump tweeted about North Korea's parade (Picture: AFP)
Donald Trump tweeted about North Korea’s parade (Picture: AFP)

A North Korea expert has launched an astonishing attack on Donald Trump, attacking his “repugnant grovelling” before Kim Jong-un and saying that Pyongyang will never give up its nuclear weapons.

Robert E Kelly, professor of political science at Pusan National University in South Korea, was responding to two tweets by the US president in which he claimed credit for the absence of nuclear missiles in North Korea’s 70th anniversary parade.

On Sunday, the country staged a huge military parade to mark its 70th year as a nation.

Mr Trump thanked ‘Chairman Kim’ and said: “There is nothing like good dialogue from two people that like each other.”

Prof Kelly responded with a stinging rebuke, accusing Mr Trump ‘repugnant grovelling’ and insisting Pyongyang has no intention to denuclearise.

He wrote: “It’s not ‘big and very positive.’ It’s a minor positive. This is more outlandish, over-promising Trumpian bombast, like when he was gonna win a Nobel.”

“Calling NK’s bloodthirsty leader ‘chairman’ is repugnant grovelling.

“Trump is not going to prove anyone wrong. He’s too incompetent to outsmart anyone. We all know, including the N Koreans, Trump’s schtick by now. NK will never give up its weapons. We need to stop raising unreal expectations.”

Prof Kelly also attacked Mr Trump’s claims of a good working relationship with Mr Kim.

He wrote: “Kim Jong Un doesn’t ‘like’ Trump. They’re not friends. Trump keeps saying this, because it keeps the focus on him personally and suggests he has wondrous negotiating skills (which isn’t true anyway).”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang (Picture: AP)
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un waves after a parade for the 70th anniversary of North Korea’s founding day in Pyongyang (Picture: AP)
North Korean soldiers march during the parade (Picture: AP)
North Korean soldiers march during the parade (Picture: AP)

In its parade, North Korea held back its most advanced missiles and devoted nearly half of the show to civilian efforts to build the domestic economy.

Mr Kim attended but did not address the assembled crowd, which included the head of the Chinese parliament and high-level delegations from countries that have friendly ties with the North.

Senior statesman Kim Yong Nam, the head of North Korea’s parliament, set the softer tone for the event with an opening speech that emphasised the economic goals of the regime, not its nuclear might.

After a truncated parade featuring tanks, fewer than the usual number of missiles and lots of goose-stepping units from all branches of the military, along with some students and others, the focus switched to civilian groups, ranging from nurses to construction workers, many with colourful floats beside them.

Although North Korea stages military parades almost every year, and held one just before the Olympics began in South Korea in February this year, Sunday’s parade came at a particularly sensitive time.

Mr Kim’s effort to ease tensions with Mr Trump have stalled since their June summit in Singapore.

Both sides are now insisting on a different starting point. Washington wants Kim to commit to denuclearisation first, but Pyongyang wants its security guaranteed and a peace agreement formally ending the Korean War.

Mr Kim will once again meet in Pyongyang with South Korean president Moon Jae-in to discuss ways to break the impasse over his nuclear weapons.