Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un either “mad” or “a genius” on a Friday radio broadcast in Birmingham, Alabama.
While the straight shooting remarks made headlines, Trump appears to be striking a far more hawkish foreign policy agenda than any Presidential candidate in the last 30 years.
The billionaire real estate investor chose to focus Friday on why the United States defends wealthy nations, like South Korea, free of charge. The remarks highlight Trump's keen sense of the value of a dollar and the economics that underpin the complicated world of foreign relations.
Trump told WAPI's "Matt Murphy Show" that:
They’re talking about North Korea with South Korea. You see that. You know it’s heating up again. So, we send our ships, and I think South Korea’s great. I think it’s wonderful. I just order 4,000 television sets for a job that I’m doing, right? And guess what? Between Samsung, and LG, and Sharp, they all come from South Korea. They’re making a fortune. So, we send our troops, we’re getting ready to go in there and defend them. We get nothing. It’s like crazy. We get nothing. Why are we getting nothing? Why aren’t they helping us, okay? We help them. And you know, we have this mad guy, I guess he’s mad, either he’s mad or he’s a genius, one or the other, but he’s actually more unstable, even than his father, they say. They said the father was a pleasure by comparison to him, in North Korea.
Trump continued to drive home the point that the United States gets no monetary benefit out of defending South Korea and wondered “How many people can we defend? Why are we defending everybody? And these are rich nations.” He added, “we should defend them, but you know what? With the right messenger, they’ll pay us a fortune, and everybody will be happy. But it’s very sad to see what happens, frankly.”
The straightforward talk comes amid intense silence from the rest of the GOP field on most issues, especially foreign policy.