BuzzFeed News

Reporting To You

Trump Said He Wants His People To Treat Him Like North Koreans Treat Kim Jong Un

"He speaks and his people sit up in attention. I want my people to do the same," President Trump said, later adding that he was "kidding."

Posted on June 15, 2018, at 10:15 a.m. ET

In an unplanned live interview with Fox & Friends on the White House lawn Friday, President Donald Trump said that he wants "my people" to treat him the way North Koreans treat leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump says he wants people to treat him like North Koreans treat Kim Jung Un. Really.

"He speaks up and his people sit up in attention," Trump said. "I want my people to do the same."

Ng Han Guan / AP

Trump said that inviting Kim to the White House is "something that could happen."

"Hey, he is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head," Trump said. "Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same."

Kim is allegedly responsible for crimes against humanity carried out against his own people. In addition to the many gulags the country runs, North Korea commits frequent public executions of its citizens, according to a 2015 South Korean report, in order to "keep the population in line." People in North Korea are also have no access to the internet and little, if any, freedom of expression.

Trump later walked back his comment, telling reporters on the White House lawn that he was "kidding" and that it was "sarcasm."

Asked about this just now in an extraordinary session with reporters on the White House North lawn, he said: “I’m kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm.” https://t.co/d7MFGeI74c

But Trump was full of praises for Kim, telling Fox & Friends that he "really hit it off" with the North Korean leader and that they had "good chemistry."

President @realDonaldTrump talks North Korea

"We got along very well," Trump said about his meeting with Kim during the historic summit in Singapore. "We had a good chemistry. I don't know if that is popular or politically correct to say."

"During the meeting, we really did hit it off, good chemistry," Trump repeated. "I take heat. What am I supposed to do? Walk out and say 'terrible?' I get along with him very well."

Trump said that the agreement he signed with Kim at the summit stipulates that North Korea will denuclearize and that Trump would lift sanctions against the country "when we can be sure there are no more nuclear."

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

"It's in the agreement; he said he will denuclearize," Trump said Friday. "I signed an agreement where we get everything."

When asked by a reporter about what the verification process for denuclearization would look like, Trump did not directly answer the question and accused reporters of not reading the agreement he signed with Kim.

"We're going to have a very strong verification process," Trump said. "Now, if you read the agreement, which most of you didn't, point after point after point he gave, including getting back the remains of our great heroes, of our great, great heroes, which some people are crying in the streets they're so happy."

The agreement says that North Korea "commits to work towards complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" but is light on details about the process. The wording had already been agreed on during the summit between South Korea's Moon Jae-in and Kim earlier this year.

When asked how close North Korea is to denuclearization, Trump told Fox & Friends, "We're close to getting it started. [Kim] wants to do something great with his country. He wants to make his country great."

Ahn Young-joon / AP

Trump, who took flak for saluting a North Korean general during the summit, said that he was "being respectful to the general."

North Korea

The confusing moment between Trump and No Kwang Chol, minister of the People's Armed Forces of North Korea, was part of a propaganda video about the summit that was released by North Korea.

"That's right. I met a general. He saluted me. I saluted him back," Trump told Fox & Friends on Friday. "I'm being respectful to the general. We have a very good relationship with North Korea."

The Donald Trump handshake confusion really ought to be a gif. So I made it into a gif.

Support our journalism

Help BuzzFeed News reporters expose injustices and keep quality news free.

Start
ADVERTISEMENT