Trump praises North Korean dictator’s ‘great and beautiful’ vision for his country
Earlier this week, the US president played down the significance of a series of short-range missile tests carried out by Pyongyang, saying they were “very standard” and would not impact his ongoing diplomatic engagement with Mr Kim.
Speaking to reporters before he left the White House for a rally in Ohio, Mr Trump was asked about the missile tests, the latest of which was fired from North Korea’s South Hamgyong province.
“I think it’s very much under control, very much under control,” he said, saying the tests were of short-range missiles. “We never made an agreement on that. I have no problem. We’ll see what happens. But these are short-range missiles. They are very standard.”
Mr Trump, who in June made history by becoming the first sitting US president to visit North Korea when he met Mr Kim at the demilitarised zone between the two countries on the Korean peninsula and stepped into the north, on Friday repeated his claim the missile tests were not a problem.
“Kim Jong-un and North Korea tested 3 short range missiles over the last number of days. These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short range missiles when we shook hands,” he said on Twitter.
He added: “I may be wrong, but I believe that chairman Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as president, can make that vision come true.
“He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, president Trump!”
Mr Trump’s outreach to the North Korean dictator, accused of overseeing widespread human rights abuses, has divided opinion.
Some have accused the president of giving legitimacy to the North Korean regime, while securing little in return.
Others, including some of those who frequently criticised the president, have praised his outreach, and said it is better the nuclear-armed nations are talking to each other, after decades of hostility and mutual suspicion.