President Donald Trump's speech to Congress on Monday is a good example of how much power a politician has when he confronts injustice with moral values. Among those invited to Congress was a North Korean defector, Ji Seong Ho. Ji, who lost his arms and legs in an accident in his teenage years, escaped North Korea while on crutches and is now spreading the North Korean human rights movement around the world. Trump explained in detail the suffering Ji experienced during his time in North Korea and described the devastating state of human rights in the country.
“Seong-ho's story is a testament to the yearning of every human soul to live in freedom,” Trump said, adding that “it was that same yearning for freedom that nearly 250 years ago gave birth to a special place called America.” Trump is approaching the North Korean issue from a universal value standpoint, simply saying that it is free from nuclear and U.S. security guarantees. Trump said, “We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose.” He mentioned Otto Warmbier, who died in the aftermath of being tortured in North Korea. It should be said that there is much moral rage in the background, even while the U.S. keeps the bullish compromise against North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. Saying that “past experience has taught us that complacency and concessions only invite aggression and provocation,” Trump vowed not to repeat the government's past mistakes.
The United States is recognized as a world leader because of its leading power in areas such as economic and military power, as well as its orientation toward common values such as freedom, human rights and democracy. The real greatness of the United States lies in its tradition of not avoiding fights when there is a threat to its values. The United States is the country that has waged the most war among the hegemonic countries. Trump's speech on this day revealed the power of this tradition as well as morality, courage and national spirit. Korean politicians rarely talk about freedom and human rights when discussing North Korea. The more progressive camps should foremost respond to human rights issues. It is argued that North Korea should be dealt with in a calmer manner rather than through aggressive agitation.
However, to not be angry with North Korea's immorality is to ignore the most fundamental contradiction. If we do this, we cannot change North Korea, nor can we can fight them and win. Trump, at least in this regard, has penetrated the essence of the North Korean problem more accurately than any other politician in Korea. It is a relief, yet on the other hand, it is also a pity.