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North Korea Shames Trump Over Paris Withdrawal

KCNA via REUTERS

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter
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President Donald Trump caught a lot of flak for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, and now North Korea is sharing its two cents on the matter.

North Korea, a country not known for its efforts to make a better world, decried Trump’s decision as the “height of egotism,” state media reported.

“Global warming is one of the gravest challenges the humankind is facing today,” the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday, citing a Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, “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.”

U.S. officials have repeatedly stated that North Korea represents one of the greatest threats to international peace and stability. “North Korea represents the most serious security threat in the world,” Vice President Mike Pence told CBS News in early May. Other administration officials have made similar statements.

“The ‘America First Policy’ advocated by Trump led to the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement,” KCNA wrote. “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.”

“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 KCNA article concluded.

North Korea has surprisingly signaled a willingness to combat climate change.

“The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea  has always paid a great attention to the environment protection work in constructing the socialist power,” the country explained in a document, Intended Nationally Determined Contribution of Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in September last year. North Korea “will actively contribute to achieving the objectives of the UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement.”

As the North’s economy improves, reliance on biomass for fuel and deforestation will decrease, but non-energy sources of emissions may increase. North Korea previously declared war on deforestation. Pyongyang has been largely compliant with United Nations climate conventions, as North Korea is particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In the past, North Korea has experienced severe floods and a devastating famine.

North Korea regularly threatens to reduce the cities of its enemies to ashes or turn them into seas of flames. It is unclear how such aspirations play into their climate goals.

President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris agreement because he felt the deal was not in the best interest of the U.S. He has, however, stated that the U.S. remains committed to environmental protection.

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