JUST IN: President Trump says that Kim Jong Un has been "very open" and "very honorable” ahead of their summit; the president has previously described the North Korean dictator as "Little Rocket Man," a "maniac" and a "madman." pic.twitter.com/WiVbtpOQus— NBC News (@NBCNews) April 24, 2018
President Donald Trump employed a very interesting choice of words when discussing North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.
On Tuesday, before his meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron, Trump said Kim — whom the president once mocked as “fat and short” “Rocket Man” — has been “very honorable.” The bizarre comment came ahead of Trump’s much-anticipated face-to-face meeting with the supreme leader in May or June over denuclearization.
“We’re having very, very good discussions,” Trump said. ”Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”
There couldn’t be anyone less honorable than Kim.
The despotic North Korean leader has a well-documented penchant for sadism and human rights abuses. In fact, Trump was one of the first to call for a reckoning of the hermit kingdom after Otto Warmbier — a 22-year-old University of Virginia student who was arrested for taking a North Korean propaganda poster from a hotel in Pyongyang — was tortured into a vegetative state and later died of brain damage.
Three more Americans, Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang Duk and Kim Hak Song, are still being detained in Pyongyang over various charges. The North Korean jails in which they live are forced labor camps where inmates are subjected to hard forced labor, rape, cruel and unusual punishments and death.
Kim also has no feeling of tenderness toward his own flesh and blood, let alone the people who are loyal to him.
It is believed he sanctioned the poisoning death of Kim Jong Nam, his estranged half-brother, at a Kuala Lumpur airport. In May 2015, Kim had his defense minister Hyon Yong Chol publicly executed with an anti-aircraft gun at a military school in Pyongyang. The supreme leader’s top education official was gunned down by a firing squad after he exercised “bad attitude” during a Supreme People’s Assembly.
President Trump was later asked during a press conference why he used the word “honorable” to refer to Kim.
Asked what he meant by calling Kim Jong Un "open" and "honorable," Pres Trump says "a lot is happening and I think its’ going to be very positive.” Says he wants denuclearization of North Korea and that he has made no concessions. "But the end result is, we'll see." pic.twitter.com/tNEZWgDXYN— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) April 24, 2018
However, Trump, the master of avoidance, quickly started talking about his progress in denuclearizing North Korea.
“A lot is happening and I think it’s going to be very positive,” Trump said, disregarding the reporter’s question. “It means they get rid of their nukes. It would be easy for me to make a simple deal and declare victory. I don’t want to do that.”
However, Trump may soon find such monumental discussions are not as easy as he thinks and he may very well be forced to rethink his assessment of Kim.
Banner/Thumbnail credit: REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst