Even North Korea Thinks Trump’s Paris Climate Decision Was “Selfish”

by Chris Tognotti
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If there's one thing you wouldn't want as president of the United States, it's having most world leaders find more in common with the North Korean government than with America. Unfortunately, that appears to be where President Trump's decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord has landed us. Now even North Korea is criticizing Trump on climate change, calling his move "selfish," and "the height of egotism."

On the one hand, schadenfreude is very much in vogue in American politics these days. But that isn't to say that anyone, much less progressives and anti-Trump activists, should feel happy or enthusiastic about North Korea dunking on POTUS.

However strongly Trump is disliked by huge swaths of his own country, he's still a far cry from a figure like Kim Jong-un, who currently presides over a network of starvation-inducing concentration camps containing tens of thousands of political prisoners. North Korea is a repressive, totalitarian state, and one that should rarely, if never find itself with the opportunity to attack any other nation for being a "moral vacuum."

Which makes it all the more embarrassing that it did. When the U.S. actually completes to process of pulling out from the Paris agreement, which would take years, it would join Nicaragua — who thought the accord didn't go far enough in combating climate change — and Syria — who didn't want to be beholden to other governments — as the only holdouts. Here's the statement the North Korean government put out about Trump withdrawing from Paris:

The "America First Policy" advocated by Trump led to the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement. 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. 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.
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In his speech announcing his decision on the Paris agreement, Trump remarked that he was elected to represent the people of Pittsburgh, not Paris. Pittsburgh, however, overwhelmingly voted against him, and a majority of its citizens support efforts to combat climate change. And now, he could probably tweak that line to apply to the North Koreans ― Pittsburgh, not Pyongyang, perhaps?

Fortunately for anyone who cares about the environmental health of the planet and actually takes climate change seriously ― rather than, say, believing it's a Chinese hoax, or that the other Paris signatories were only happy with the deal because it screwed over the U.S. ― the long, slow withdrawal process means this could still be a viable issue in a 2020 presidential campaign. How much the climate will have already changed by then, however, would be impossible to predict.