North Korea's state-run media has published an op-ed in support of likely Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, calling him a "a prescient presidential candidate" that can help unify the Korean peninsula.
A Korean-language op-ed that was published by DPRK Today, one of the propaganda mouthpieces for the Communist regime of dictator Kim Jong-un, praised the billionaire real estate mogul as a "wise politician," a "far-sighted presidential candidate" and the right choice for American voters.
"It turns out that Trump is not the rough-talking, screwy, ignorant candidate they say he is, but is actually a wise politician and a prescient presidential candidate," the op-ed states.
The op-ed comes after Trump said two weeks ago that he would be willing to meet and talk with Kim and North Korean leaders. Trump said in March that he would be open to withdrawing the 28,500 troops stationed in South Korea if the South Korean government doesn't start paying more defense costs. Trump also called on Japan and South Korea to take a bigger role in protecting themselves from North Korea.
According to NKNews.org, the op-ed was written by a Chinese North Korean scholar named Han Yong Mook.
"Trump said 'he will not get involved in the war between the South and the North,' isn't this fortunate from North Koreans' perspective?" the op-ed asks. "Who knew that the slogan 'Yankee Go Home' would come true like this? The day when the 'Yankee Go Home' slogan becomes real would be the day of Korean Unification."
The article asks for South Korea not to pay defense costs so that the U.S. feels more inclined to pull its troops out more quickly.
The article also calls on American voters not to vote for the "dull" Hillary Clinton.
"The president that U.S. citizens must vote for is not that dull Hillary — who claimed to adapt the Iranian model to resolve nuclear issues on the Korean Peninsula — but Trump, who spoke of holding direct conversation with North Korea," the article asserts.
Aidan Foster-Carter from the University of Leeds in England, told NK News that although the op-ed does not officially represent the views of the North Korean government in Pyongyang, the op-ed "is certainly Pyongyang flying a kite, or testing the waters."
"For the rest of us, this is a timely reminder — if it were needed — of just how completely Trump plans to tear up established U.S. policy in the region; and what an irresponsible, unthinking menace the man is," Foster-Carter argued.
John Feffer, director of the Washington-based Foreign Policy in Focus, told NK News that North Korea seems hopeful that Trump will help change both the Democratic Party's and the Republican Party's longstanding views on the conflict in Korea.
"He's the Dennis Rodman of American politics — quirky, flamboyant, risk-taking," Feffer said. "At the moment he's also an outsider. But Pyongyang is hoping that either he'll be elected (and follows through on his pledges) or that his pronouncements will change the political game in the United States."
North Korea is ranked as the world's worst persecutor of Christians.
For the 14th year in a row, North Korea has ranked as No. 1 on Open Doors USA's World Watch List of countries where Christians are immensely persecuted.
As it is illegal to worship anything besides the Kim family, between 50,000 and 70,000 Christians are imprisoned in North Korean labor camps. Christians, among others who are persecuted, are forced to work long hours and are often tortured inside the camps for their refusal to deny their faith in Jesus Christ.