“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was shown riding a white horse in the snow on a sacred mountain, in several photographs released by state media Wednesday that experts said could presage a major announcement,” the Washington Post reports.
BuzzFeed News: “The story got its latest outing at last month’s summit in Biarritz, France, as the world leaders were gathered around the table for the formal meeting. When the discussion turned to North Korea … Trump went off on a tangent, spending some 10 minutes rambling about his great relationship with Kim, leaving the other G7 leaders mostly speechless.”
“The story goes like this: When Trump first met Kim, in Singapore in June last year, the two men talked about the tweets that Trump had posted in 2017, nicknaming the North Korean leader ‘Little Rocket Man.’ In Trump’s retelling, during a back and forth exchange about the name calling the two men had engaged in over many months before the meeting in Singapore — ‘You called me fat… and then you called me this…,’ — Kim asks Trump why he’d called him that.”
“‘Don’t you know Elton John? It’s a great song,’ the president, who is a big fan of the British musician, says. To which Kim responds, ‘But you called me “little.”’ Then comes Trump’s punchline: ‘That’s what he didn’t like!'”
“Russian President Vladimir Putin says he is willing to share details with the United States about his summit on Thursday with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, potentially raising Russia’s influence in the stalemated issue of Pyongyang’s denuclearization,” the AP reports.
“The two leaders’ first one-on-one did not indicate major changes in North Korea’s position: Putin said Kim is willing to give up nuclear weapons, but only if he gets ironclad security guarantees.”
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“He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
— President Trump, quoted by Axios, explaining how North Korea’s Kim Jong Un is a “strong leader.”
In an interview with Fox News, President Trump dismissed North Korea’s human rights violations and Kim Jong Un’s atrocities against his own people.
Said Trump: “Hey, he’s a tough guy. When you take over a country — a tough country, tough people — and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that. So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator.”
When pressed further, Trump responded: “Yeah, but so have other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
“Honestly, I think he’s going to do these things. I may be wrong, I mean I may stand before you in six months and say, hey, I was wrong — I don’t know that I’ll ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse.”
— President Trump, quoted by the New York Times, on his agreements with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
“Kim Jong-un, the leader of North Korea, arrived in Singapore on Sunday, two days ahead of his planned summit meeting with President Trump,” the New York Times reports.
“Mr. Kim arrived on an Air China flight, raising questions about the flight-worthiness of North Korea’s aging fleet of mostly Soviet-built planes. This is the farthest that Mr. Kim has traveled since he took power in 2011.”
Rudy Giuliani said North Korean leader Kim Jong Un got down “on his hands and knees and begged” for their summit to be held after Mr. Trump canceled it last month, the Wall Street Journal reports.
“Mr. Giuliani counseled a similar approach to Trump administration negotiations with Palestinian officials in a future Middle East peace process.”
“We want to thank Kim Jong Un, who really was excellent to these three incredible people.”
— President Trump, quoted by Politico, on the return of three Americans who had been imprisoned by North Korea.
President Trump tweets:
The highly anticipated meeting between Kim Jong Un and myself will take place in Singapore on June 12th. We will both try to make it a very special moment for World Peace!
President Trump called North Korea’s leader a “very honorable” person and expressed hope their meeting will occur “as soon as possible,” The Hill reports.
Said Trump: “He really has been very open and, I think, very honorable from everything we’re seeing.”
CIA Director Mike Pompeo “made a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend as an envoy for President Trump to meet with that country’s leader, Kim Jong Un,” the Washington Post reports.
“The extraordinary meeting between one of Trump’s most trusted emissaries and the authoritarian head of a rogue state was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program, according to the two people, who requested anonymity because of the highly classified nature of the talks.”
“While much remains mysterious about the assassination of Kim Jong Un’s half-brother in Malaysia this week, this much is clear: Nearly all of the North Korean dictator’s potential rivals are now dead,” Bloomberg reports.
Donald Trump told Reuters that he “is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to try to stop Pyongyang’s nuclear program.”
Said Trump: “I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him. At the same time I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China.”
“Trump also said he disapproved of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s actions in eastern Ukraine, called for a renegotiation of the Paris climate accord, and said he would dismantle most of the Dodd-Frank financial regulations if he is elected president.”
Donald Trump said that as president he would have China make North Korea’s leader “disappear,” Politico reports
Said Trump: “I mean, this guy’s a bad dude, and don’t underestimate him. Any young guy who can take over from his father with all those generals and everybody else that probably want the position, this is not somebody to be underestimated.”
Donald Trump said that North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Un, deserves “credit” for taking over his country at such a young age, Business Insider reports.
Said Trump: “If you look at North Korea, this guy, I mean, he’s like a maniac, OK? And you’ve got to give him credit. How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals.”
He added: “He goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss. It’s incredible. He wiped out the uncle. He wiped out this one, that one. I mean, this guy doesn’t play games. And we can’t play games with him. Because he really does have missiles. And he really does have nukes.”
“The year 2015 was a year of gigantic struggle recorded with significant events and eye-opening successes and a year of victory and glory that strikingly demonstrated the dignity and might of socialist Korea… But if invasive outsiders and provocateurs touch us even slightly, we will not be forgiving in the least and sternly answer with a merciless, holy war of justice.”
— North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, quoted by USA Today reports.