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OPINION: Mike Pence shows true colors in North Korea

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Has Vice President Mike Pence just confirmed his hypocrite status? Some may think he had done so already, but when he didn't stand for the Korean joint team as they presented themselves at the beginning of the Pyeongchang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, it became blatantly evident.

Pence and President Donald J. Trump have taken a vehement stance against the peaceful protest of kneeling during the U.S. National Anthem by NFL players. Both men state the act of not hailing the flag as unacceptable and said the privately owned teams these men are employed by should fire them. 

Pence has been known to partake in vague hypocrisy, such as walking out of an Indianapolis Colts game when he witnessed players kneeling (he knew they were going to kneel; he is a hypocrite, not an idiot). This time, he chose to stand only for the United States athletes and none of the other countries, while sitting right in front of Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

At this point, many staunch right-wingers would praise Pence as a proud, strong American, but to the rest of us without a complex, he looked like the old woman who passive-aggressively picks on the kid of a parent she doesn’t like.

Pence had a choice to sit with only U.S. representatives so he was not forced to sit in front of the North Korean dictator’s sister. Pence chose to sit in front of her, and he chose to sit during the entrances of the other countries. This was to make a statement, much like the very people he bashed in the NFL.

When I hear the Canadian National Anthem at a hockey game, I stand; it is a courtesy. If it were my choice, I wouldn’t stand for any national anthem; I find it rather cultish, and I don't care if someone sits or stands for their own or anybody else's anthem.

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Then why am I bashing Mike Pence? Did I not just contradict my whole argument against him? In the words of Taj Mahal: “Man, I don't care what in the world that you do/ As long as you do what you say you going to/ Ain't nobody's business but your own."

Upon landing in South Korea, Pence said America will be placing the “toughest sanctions” on North Korea because of the rising “threat” of nuclear war. Can the leaders of this country be honest just for once? 

The U.S. just doesn’t want North Korea to have any friends or allies and wants to continue isolating the country. The U.S. is more fearful of North Korea being seen in a more positive light because it is a conflict of interest. They would have one less “enemy” to justify the hearty increase of military spending outlined in the new-and-improved budget.

Pence also brought in cargo: the parents of Otto Warmbier. For those who do not remember, Warmbier was the student who died shortly after being released from a North Korean prison and returned to the U.S. 

Ever since, Warmbier’s parents have been used as propaganda tools by the U.S. against North Korea. People nationwide sympathized with the Warmbiers to the point they shunned North Korea brashly and brushed off the fact that Otto was put into custody for trying to steal a North Korean propaganda poster. 

North Korea is trying to reach out to the neighbor south of them, and even if that is only for Olympic representation, the U.S. shouldn’t be trying to stick its nose into it like it always does. We aren’t the moral police of the world,.

Let countries do their own thing and figure it out among themselves. We have our own police state to worry about right here at home.


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