HUMAN RIGHTS/NORTH KOREA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “It almost sounded like compassion — compassion for the North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un — when President Donald Trump explained that Kim ‘felt very badly’ about what had happened to Otto Warmbier, the 22-year-old American student taken prisoner by Kim’s henchmen for 17 months. Gone were Trump’s charges that Kim runs a ‘brutal regime,’ which he stated when Warmbier was returned to the Unites States in 2017– in a coma. He died less than a week later. At a press conference in Hanoi on Thursday, Trump said of Kim, ‘I will take him at his word.’ It was another demeaning moment not only for Trump, who has gushed about the tyrant on several occasions, but also for America. And it was made even more humiliating for the United States when the President heaped additional praise on Kim’s “great leadership,” which he said will bring much success to his country. To be clear, he was referring to a regime that a United Nations investigation concluded commits crimes against humanity that ‘entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds’ — violations of a gravity and scale ‘that (do) not have any parallel in the contemporary world.’ That’s whose word Trump accepts. That’s the leadership Trump calls great.”

Frida Ghitis, “Trump’s Otto Warmbier comments mark a shameful day for America,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, February 28, 2019 2:12 pm