Donald Trump openly admiring Kim Jong Un’s dictator tactics is one of the worst things you’ll see today
Donald Trump has some glowing things to say about North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un. In one particularly awful sound byte, the president said that Kim is a “strong head” and admired the way that the — I repeat — dictator commands “his people.” Trump also added that he’d like to take a page out his book, which is disturbing on so many levels.
Trump spoke to Fox & Friends this week about his meeting with Kim Jong Un and had only the highest of praise. “He’s the head of a country. And I mean, he is the strong head,” the president 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.”
TRUMP on Kim Jong Un (note the final two sentences): "He's the head of a country, and I mean he's the strong head. Don't let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same." (via FOX) pic.twitter.com/ed9AMRl9ny
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) June 15, 2018
It’s unclear if Trump is referring to his White House staff or American constituents in general when he said “my people.” Later, he told reporters: “I was kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm.”
Either way, the world has become a scary, scary place when our president has positive words to say about a dictator AND notes that he would like to emulate said dictator. That’s a completely horrifying statement to make even if he was joking.
Trump didn’t stop there. He added that he “hit it off” with Kim and that the two had “good chemistry.” “We get along very well,” he said.
So, how exactly does Kim Jong Un — aka Trump’s new buddy — treat “his people?” Well, for starters, the dictator reportedly had his uncle executed when he learned that he was supposedly planning a coup with China. That was one of the estimated 340 executions that have happened under Kim’s reign, according to The Institute for National Security Strategy.
That’s just the tip of the iceberg. Human Rights Watch has dubbed North Korea one of the “most repressive authoritarian states in the world.” There are forced labor camps. North Koreans are brutally punished if they try to escape the country. In 2017, the United States imposed sanctions on the country because of its “flagrant” abuse of human rights.
“We are especially concerned with the North Korean military, which operates as secret police, punishing all forms of dissent,” U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement. “Further, the military operates outside of North Korea to hunt down asylum seekers, and brutally detains and forcibly returns North Korean citizens.”
If you want to get a full, heartbreaking picture of what North Koreans experience, take a look at this speech by 24-year-old Park Yeon-mi, who escaped her country back in 2007.
“North Korea is an unimaginable country,” she said. “There is only one channel on TV. There is only one Internet. We are afraid to sing, say, wear, or think what we want. North Korea is the only country in the world that executes people for making unauthorized international phone calls.”
Recently, Park filmed a video op-ed imploring Trump to do the right thing when he meets Kim Jong Un. She asked him to do basically everything he didn’t end up doing.
“Kim is clever. He is using this moment to sanitize his global image,” she said. “President Trump, while you have Kim Jong Un’s attention, use it to free North Koreans. As the leader of the free world, you must hold the worst dictator on earth accountable.”