World News

North Korea Praises ‘Fire and Fury’ Book on Trump Administration

Posted January 11, 2018 10:37 a.m. EST

HONG KONG — Michael Wolff’s book about the Trump administration has been getting mixed reviews from critics and others, but it’s finding fulsome praise in one corner: North Korean state media, which says the book’s popularity “foretells Trump’s political demise.”

The book, “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” has apparently made its way to the so-called hermit kingdom, giving more ammunition to a North Korean government already in a raging propaganda war with President Donald Trump.

“The anti-Trump book is sweeping all over the world so Trump is being massively humiliated worldwide,” said a commentary in the country’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, which is run by the ruling Workers’ Party.

The book has sold so well in the United States — 29,000 hardcover copies the first weekend — that retailers are having trouble keeping it in stock, and digital and audio sales have topped 350,000. Pirated copies of the book are already circulating online in Asia.

Rodong Sinmun said those sales figures were no surprise, given the worldwide enmity toward Trump, who has belittled the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, as “Little Rocket Man” and suggested that the dictator’s “nuclear button” is too small.

“Voices calling for the impeachment of Trump are on the rise not only in the United States but also abroad,” the commentary said. “Since the book was published, it has triggered a debate on whether Trump is qualified to be president, even in Western Europe.”

Trump has derided the book and its author, and has threatened legal action to halt its publication, a warning the publisher, Henry Holt and Co., brushed off while moving up the book’s publication date.

The book portrays Trump as inattentive, surrounded by aides who belittle his intelligence and capabilities, and describes the president as presiding over a dysfunctional White House. The administration has characterized the book as a “complete fantasy” full of “tabloid gossip.”

The North Korean commentary comes after the country has refrained in recent days from attacking Trump as it held negotiations with South Korea that paved the way for the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in February in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Oddly, the North through its commentary was praising a book whose title may be rooted in Trump’s threat to annihilate the country. In August, Trump warned he would unleash “fire and fury” against North Korea if it ever endangered the United States.