Park Geun-hye, the president of South Korea, said she hopes the United States continues to cooperate with her country after the election of Donald Trump “to address pending issues, including the North Korea issue.”
Park sent “sincere congratulations” to Trump who won “based on the support of the American people for his experience and leadership,” according to a statement from a presidential spokesperson.
“The Government of the Republic of Korea, upon Mr. Trump’s election, will continue to closely cooperate with the next U.S. administration for the peace and prosperity in the Korean Peninsula and Northeast Asia region, as well as the world, through further deepening and developing the ROK-U.S. alliance,” the statement said.
In May, North Korean state media outlet DPRK published an editorial that called Trump a “wise politician.”
“There are many positive aspects to Trump’s ‘inflammatory policies,’ ” the author of the article wrote, according to a translation from NK News. “Trump said he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North, isn’t this fortunate from North Korea’s perspective?”
In an interview with The Washington Post’s editorial board in March, Trump argued that the U.S. defense deal with South Korea was not fair, adding, “We’re reimbursed a fraction of what this is all costing.”
In a subsequent interview with the New York Times, Trump had suggested that he would withdraw U.S. troops from South Korea if elected, noting that Seoul may need to build its own nuclear weapons to protect itself.
Trump then told Reuters in May that he would be willing to speak to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. “I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him,” he said.