Does Kim Jong Un Deserve Our Thanks?

Should we be praising Kim Jong Un for allegedly returning the remains of fallen soldiers from the Korean War?
Donald Trump thinks so. He sent out the following tweet in response:

Thank you to Chairman Kim Jong Un for keeping your word & starting the process of sending home the remains of our great and beloved missing fallen! I am not at all surprised that you took this kind action. Also, thank you for your nice letter – l look forward to seeing you soon!

But then again we know from Trump’s cabinet meetings and meetings with fake faith leaders that Trump has a perverse affinity for empty praise. He’s like the guy who eats slop straight from the pen, then turns to the other pigs and says, “That’s the best meal I ever eat.”

You can’t figure out if he’s punking his fellow pigs or if he’s such a pig he really does enjoy slop.

Perhaps we all ought to hold off on sending Kim Jong Un a box of chocolates and a hand-written thank you, just yet. Or even posting those questionable photos of those flag-draped “remains” North Korea shipped over.

I don’t suspect this to surprise any of you none (well Sarah Sanders maybe, given that reality seems to elude her most days), but North Korea doesn’t exactly have a  stellar reputation for the handling of the remains of fallen soldiers of other countries. You might recall that North Korea doesn’t even have all that great of a reputation for the way they handle the bodies that are still warm – Otto Warmbier, anyone?  Humanity and honor isn’t North Korea’s strong suit (but neither is it ours lately either).

Consider these words from a report out in the New York Times:

To start with, it is unlikely that the 55 crates — the most in a single release from North Korea since just after the fighting ended — contain the remains of just 55 men. Bones from several bodies have often been jumbled together: The total of 208 coffins delivered in the 1990s turned out to include remains from at least 400 people. Many of the remains returned in past releases showed signs that they had been out of the ground a long time, and had been stored in what Mr. Cole’s research suggested was an abandoned mine. Complicating things further, the intermingled bones have often been handed over without any personal effects that might have been found with them, or any explanation of where they were found — erasing some of the primary clues the agency uses for identification. As a result, only 181 of the roughly 450 sets of remains returned by North Korea in past years have ever been identified, and many of them were not Americans. The rest sit in storage.

Not even Americans.

Did you catch that?

In other words, Kim Jong Un is like your hoarder neighbor – the one who sits on the couch on his front porch passing reeking gas all day long. The fella who finally decides that he’s going to clean up his yard after receiving a citation from the city’s code enforcement officer. He just begins dumping stuff into boxes to be hauled off. There’s no telling what he’s put into those boxes. He’s under a deadline, so he packs up everything with no consideration given to identifying anything. For all the code enforcement officer knows, the madman that is your neighbor could have stuffed the makings of an entire meth lab into one of those boxes.

Truth is, we have no idea if Kim Jong Un shipped over the bones of pigs or the bones of fallen soldiers. And it will be years, upon years, before we will ever know.

Trump will be long dead by then.

So, too, will be the sons and daughters of the fallen soldiers.

Lest you think I am being cavalier about this, you should know that I take this stuff quite seriously. Too seriously, in fact, to offer up praise to a fake president known for giving out fake praise for books he’s never read, and for military parades he’s never earned, and for honor he doesn’t deserve.

So do yourself and the fallen a favor – think twice before you post that GIF or Meme honoring North Korea and Kim Jong Un for a shipment of God really only knows what.

Because, honestly, can you think of anything that would raise the dead more than for any of us to salute the remains of a pig while under the pretense that is it the remains of a fallen soldier?

Facts matter, people. And until we have the DNA evidence to prove that these are indeed the bones of America’s fallen, we should hold off on all that applause and saluting business.

We should save our respect for the dead.

Not the pretender.

Karen Spears Zacharias is a Gold Star Daughter and author of AFTER THE FLAG HAS BEEN FOLDED. (HarperCollins).

Karen Spears Zacharias

Author/Journalist/Educator. Gold Star Daughter.

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