President Trump said Friday that he wants “his people” to listen to him like North Koreans listen to their leader, Kim Jong Un.
A day after stunning video of Trump saluting a North Korean general emerged, the President again praised the autocrat, saying the two “hit it off” during their recent summit in Singapore.
“He’s the head of a country. And I mean, he is the strong head,” Trump said of Kim on “Fox & Friends.” “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”
Trump later said he was “kidding.”
“I'm kidding, you don't understand sarcasm,” the President said.
Trump has received heated criticism for his kind words about Kim despite the North Korean leader’s horrific human rights record and history of bellicose threats against American allies.
Trump avoided questions from reporters about Kim killing his own people as he returned to the White house.
“I can't speak to that,” he said. “I can only speak to the fact that we signed an incredible agreement, and it's great and going to be great for them too because now North Korea can develop and North Korea can become a great country economically.
“It can become whatever they want, but there won't be nuclear weapons aimed at you and your family,” he added.
Many experts have raised questions about the terms of the agreement Trump and Kim signed earlier this week, pointing to its lack of details and specifics about denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.
After the vague agreement was reached, Trump stunned South Korea by announcing the suspension of joint military exercises. Pyongyang has long seen the drills as a threat.
“More importantly than the document, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said. “That’s a very important thing.”
QUIZ: Who said it, President Trump or Kim Jong Un?