President Donald Trump Friday told a Fox News reporter outside the White House that he wants his "people" to respect him the way North Koreans respect Kim Jong Un.
"Hey, he is the head of a country, and I mean he is the strong head. Don’t let anybody think different,” Trump said during the impromptu interview, when the reporter asked if he might invite Kim to the White House. “He speaks, and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same," he added, gesturing toward the White House.
Trump’s comments came on the heels of the historic summit with North Korea, where Trump and Kim met to discuss the prospects of nuclear disarmament on the Korean Peninsula, coming to a historic, if relatively toothless, agreement.
Kim's people have good reason to sit up at attention: The despot has racked up human rights abuses during his leadership, ordering the execution of at least 340 people during his first six years as leader of the country — including several members of his own family, according to a South Korean think tank. He’s run gulags and filled prisons with political dissidents, where people have been deliberately starved to death, according to a United Nations report.
And the North Korean people, even those not held in prison camps, have starved under Kim’s leadership: Another U.N. report in 2017 found that two out of five were undernourished, and up to 70 percent relied on international food aid to get by.
Cover image: North Korean TV