Donald Trump once mocked Kim Jong-Un as “short and fat,” but the American president has now done an about-face and is gushing over his unlikely friendship with the North Korean dictator.
Trump reportedly had some high praise for the budding relationship while speaking with wealthy donors at a campaign fundraiser this week. As Rolling Stone reported, Trump had some controversial moments at the swanky event in the Hamptons when he launched into mock Japanese and Korean accents that were slammed as racist, but he apparently had much better things to say about North Korea’s leader.
Donald Trump bragged that he had another personal correspondence from the dictator, who has tried to craft a stronger relationship with the United States.
“I just got a beautiful letter from him this week,” Trump said.
“We are friends. People say he only smiles when he sees me.”
While Kim Jong-Un is known for his brutal rule and reportedly violent treatment toward dissidents and political opponents, he has also been known to display a warmer demeanor when meeting with the people of North Korea. He has frequently been photographed laughing and smiling, even when he is not in the presence of Donald Trump.
Just hours after Trump praised Kim Jong-Un for the “beautiful letter,” North Korea launched a series of new missile tests in what was seen as warning against the United States and South Korea conducting joint military exercises. Kim has frequently called on the United States to stop conducting these exercises, and Trump has shown willingness to comply as part of a larger plan to denuclearize North Korea. As Politico reported, Trump appeared to be unmoved by the act of provocation, saying on Saturday that he planned to go through with new negotiations that Kim had suggested in the letter.
Trump also remained optimistic that they would meet again in person.
“I think we’ll have another meeting,” Trump told reporters on Friday. “He really wrote a beautiful three-page — I mean right from top to bottom — a really beautiful letter. And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was very positive.”
— The Hill (@thehill) August 9, 2019
Trump lauds new "very beautiful letter" from Kim Jong un in which Kim tells Trump he "wasn't happy" with US war games with South Korea. Trump agrees they shouldn't happen. Says South Korea should reimburse US. pic.twitter.com/OpVsRVUca1
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) August 9, 2019
Donald Trump has earned both praise and criticism for his approach to North Korea, with some lauding the president for his willingness to meet with North Korea where his predecessors often did not. But others believe that Trump’s harsh and unpredictable rhetoric and tendency to launch attacks on Twitter could put the fragile relationship at risk.