June 14, 2018 9:13 am
Updated: June 14, 2018 9:32 am

Donald Trump dodges Kim Jong Un’s human rights record, says he’s ‘a smart guy’

ABOVE: Trump calls Kim Jong Un ‘tough guy’ when asked about North Korea’s human rights abuses


U.S. President Donald Trump defended North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s human rights record following his historic meeting with the dictator, saying Kim is “a very smart guy.”

In an interview with Fox News’ Bret Baier, Trump glossed over Kim’s record of atrocities in North Korea.

Story continues below

READ MORE: Donald Trump admits he’ll find ‘some kind of an excuse’ if he’s wrong about North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

“You call people sometimes killers. He is a killer,” Baier said of Kim. “He’s clearly executing people.”

“He’s a tough guy,” Trump said. “Hey, when you take over a country, a tough country with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have, if you can do that at 27 years old, … that’s one in 10,000 that could do that.

WATCH: Trump seen saluting North Korean military officer at summit in footage released by North Korea’s state media

“He’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator, but I think we understand each other,” Trump said.

Trump was interviewed onboard Air Force One, on his way back from the Singapore summit on Tuesday after the president and Kim agreed to move to a denuclearization of the North without getting into the specifics of the plan.

READ MORE: Trump, Kim commit to ‘complete denuclearization’ of Korean peninsula after historic summit

“President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth, and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new U.S.-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula,” the leaders said in a joint statement. “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

WATCH: Critics cast doubt over U.S./North Korea deal

The statement provided little detail of what Trump and Kim committed to in terms of timeline and verification of denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and how many nukes Kim is sitting on. Human rights was also missing from the joint statement.

WATCH: Distrust of Kim and skepticism surrounding the Singapore summit

Kim has been accused of ordering the killing of his uncle, a half-brother and hundreds of officials suspected of disloyalty while tens of thousands of North Koreans are imprisoned in labour camps.

Baier pushed Trump on the issue, saying Kim has “done some really bad things.”

READ MORE: Read North Korea, U.S. joint statement on historic summit that’s short on details

“Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I can go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”

Trump said he had raised the issue with Kim during his meeting in Singapore and he believed the North Korean leader wanted to “do the right thing.”

On Tuesday, Trump admitted that if he is wrong about Kim’s commitment to the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean peninsula, he will never admit to it.

WATCH: Denuclearization deal between Trump, Kim is vague on details

“I really believe otherwise I wouldn’t be doing this,” Trump said of the summit. “I think, honestly, [Kim] is going to do these things. I might be wrong. I mean, I may stand before you in six months and say, ‘Hey, I was wrong.’

“I don’t know that I will ever admit that, but I’ll find some kind of an excuse,” Trump said.

After the day of meetings, Trump said that the two had a “special bond” and that Kim was a “very talented man.”

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Report an error


Want to discuss? Please read our Commenting Policy first.