Former President George W. Bush has criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to impose travel restrictions on North Korea as part the administration’s revised travel ban
Former President George W. Bush has criticized President Donald Trump’s decision to impose travel restrictions on North Korea as part the administration’s revised travel ban.
During a private dinner which was off-the-record on Thursday night, President Bush suggested the policy would discourage dissidents and defectors who might be looking to flee the country, however relatively few North Koreans are even capable of traveling to the US in the first place.
According to Business Insider Bush said that the US needed to encourage people to leave the country and noted that when he was president, he signed the North Korean Human Rights Act which offered support for North Korean human-rights groups and dissidents.
Bush was speaking at The Korea Society’s annual dinner in New York City.
Freddy Ford, a spokesman for Bush, told Business Insider on Friday that the former president did not address Trump or the travel ban in his remarks directly but ‘in broader strokes, welcoming and supporting dissidents, as he has for years, and referred to the Bush Institute’s longstanding and ongoing work in that area.’
The Trump administration has added North Korea, Venezuela and Chad, to its list of countries whose citizens are barred from entering the US
‘As president, I must act to protect the security and interests of the United States and its people,’ Trump said in the announcement.
North Korea-U.S. relations are at an all time low in recent months with both countries making threats against the other
‘North Korea does not cooperate with the United States government in any respect and fails to satisfy all information-sharing requirements,’ the revised travel restrictions state. ‘The entry into the United States of nationals of North Korea as immigrants and non-immigrants is hereby suspended.’
Despite very few North Koreans travelling to the U.S. one professor pointed out that the act of banning citizens from the country was futile.
‘They should have checked if there is North Korean immigration before they banned it,’ John Delury, an associate professor at Seoul’s Yonsei University, told the Washington Post ‘Why are you banning something that doesn’t exist?’
‘There’s no logic in the North Korea context, so we can conclude this is not really about North Korea. ‘This is not part of real North Korea policy at all.’
North Korea-U.S. relations have been at an all time low in recent months.
North Korea recently threatened to shoot down a US bomber after Trump threatened to ‘totally destroy’ North Korea at the United Nations General Assembly.
He also called Kim Jong Un ‘Rocket Man,’ in reference to his frequent missile tests.
President Bush grouped North Korea in his ‘axis of evil’, together with Iran and Iraq — in his 2002 State of the Union address.