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‘The height of egoism’: North Korea scolds Trump for withdrawing from Paris climate deal

Key Points
  • North Korea labels U.S. President Donald Trump "selfish" over his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord.
  • While North Korea has ratified the Paris climate deal, the U.S. is poised to join Nicaragua and Syria as the only other nations who aren't signatories.
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images

North Korea lambasted U.S. President Donald Trump for pulling out of the Paris climate agreement on Tuesday, warning that Washington's "America First" approach to diplomacy would have grave consequences for the international community.

"This is the height of egoism and moral vacuum seeking only their own well-being even at the cost of the entire planet and, at the same time, a short-sighted and silly decision ignorant of the fact that the protection of the global environment is in their own interests," Pyongyang's foreign ministry said in a statement, according to state news agency KCNA.

Speaking in the White House Rose Garden last week, Trump announced his intention to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. He argued he would seek to begin fresh talks to re-enter the accord in search of a deal which would prevent "other leaders and other countries from laughing" at America.

While North Korea frequently issues scathing attacks on various aspects of U.S. policy, Trump has also faced intense condemnation for withdrawing from the climate accord by several other world leaders, governments and environmental organizations.

'Selfish act'

"The selfish act of the U.S. does not only have grave consequences for the international efforts to protect the environment, but poses great danger to other areas as well," Pyongyang's statement added.

The move has set the world's largest economy apart from almost every other nation. While North Korea has ratified the Paris climate accord, the U.S. is poised to join Syria and Nicaragua as the only countries who aren't signatories.

Nicaragua's government has criticized the Paris climate deal for not being stringent enough for the world's biggest polluters, while Syria has been embroiled in a civil war since 2011.

The Paris climate accord is designed to prevent global temperatures exceeding 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The landmark accord's 195 signatories, almost every country in the world, are required to create national plans to scale back on greenhouse gas emissions.

More than 20 years of climate diplomacy went into securing the Paris climate deal in 2015.