NBC News correspondent: Senior North Korean officials watch 'Morning Joe'

NBC News correspondent: Senior North Korean officials watch 'Morning Joe'
© MSNBC.com

NBC News correspondent Kier Simmons landed a rare interview with a North Korean military official on Thursday and learned that officials in the communist country watch "Morning Joe" specifically for reports and discussions about their country. 

Simmons appeared on the MSNBC show Thursday from the border of North and South Korea to share his recent conversation with a North Korean lieutenant colonel that included his belief that President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Democrat slams Donald Trump Jr. for ‘serious case of amnesia’ after testimony Skier Lindsey Vonn: I don’t want to represent Trump at Olympics Poll: 4 in 10 Republicans think senior Trump advisers had improper dealings with Russia MORE is "mentally ill" and that his country could prevail over the U.S. in war.

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“He quite plainly said he believes President Trump is mentally ill,” Simmons told "Morning Joe" co-hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. “And he was unequivocal in saying he believes North Korea could win a war with America.”

“Be it no doubt that the senior officials here pay attention to what is being said in the U.S.,” Simmons added. “One telling me that he watches 'Morning Joe' every day specifically for the segments about North Korea.”

After Simmons wrapped up his report, Brzezinski added that "They [North Korean officials] are saying what a lot of people are thinking, that the president is mentally ill. It's considered inappropriate to say."

"I was going to say, Mika, you've got a mind-meld with some people in North Korea," said Scarborough.

Scarborough warned last week that the U.S. is closer to nuclear war than any time since the Cuban missile crisis of 1963.

"Foreign policy people yesterday told me off the record that the media is getting it wrong on North Korea, and the media is getting it wrong on Donald Trump, that actually we are far closer to a cataclysmic event," the former GOP congressman-turned-independent-pundit said.

"We had the nuclear clock when we were all growing up. It's probably closer to midnight ... than any time it's been since the Cuban missile crisis," Scarborough said.

North Korea warned Thursday that the U.S. will face an "unimaginable" nuclear strike for continuing to conduct joint naval drills with South Korea on the Korean peninsula.

“The U.S. is running amok by introducing under our nose the targets we have set as primary ones," the state-controlled news agency KCNA warned Thursday via a Newsweek report. "The U.S. should expect that it would face unimaginable strike at an unimaginable time."