The US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has praised North Korea's despotic leader Kim Jong-un, saying the way he executes his political opponenets shows "he's the boss".
Speaking at a Republican rally in Iowa on Saturday, Mr Trump was met with a silent protest as he repeated his now-familiar assertion that Muslims shouldn't be allowed to enter the US.
But while he continues to denigrate whole swathes of the population for following a religion, the billionaire reserved some praise for North Korea's dictator.
After coming to power when he was 28, Mr Kim cemented his rule through a series of purges, including the execution of his uncle Jang Song Thaek.
“You’ve got to give him credit," Mr Trump said. "How many young guys — he was like 26 or 25 when his father died — take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden — you know, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it. How does he do that?
"Even though it is a culture, and it’s a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, he’s the boss. It’s incredible.
"He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. This guy doesn’t play games and we can’t play games with him. Because he really does have missiles and he really does have nukes."
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
Donald Trump's most controversial quotes
1/14 On Isis:
"Some of the candidates, they went in and didn’t know the air conditioner didn’t work and sweated like dogs, and they didn’t know the room was too big because they didn’t have anybody there. How are they going to beat ISIS?"
2/14 On immigration:
"I will build a great wall — and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me —and I’ll build them very inexpensively. I will build a great, great wall on our southern border, and I will make Mexico pay for that wall. Mark my words."
3/14 On Free Trade:
"Free trade is terrible. Free trade can be wonderful if you have smart people. But we have stupid people."
PAUL J. RICHARDS | AFP | Getty Images
4/14 On Mexicans:
"When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists."
5/14 On China:
"I just sold an apartment for $15 million to somebody from China. Am I supposed to dislike them?... I love China. The biggest bank in the world is from China. You know where their United States headquarters is located? In this building, in Trump Tower."
6/14 On work:
"If you're interested in 'balancing' work and pleasure, stop trying to balance them. Instead make your work more pleasurable."
7/14 On success:
"What separates the winners from the losers is how a person reacts to each new twist of fate."
8/14 On life:
"Everything in life is luck."
9/14 On ambition:
"You have to think anyway, so why not think big?"
10/14 On his opponents:
"Bush is totally in favour of Common Core. I don't see how he can possibly get the nomination. He's weak on immigration. He's in favour of Common Core. How the hell can you vote for this guy? You just can't do it."
11/14 On Obamacare:
"You have to be hit by a tractor, literally, a tractor, to use it, because the deductibles are so high. It's virtually useless. And remember the $5 billion web site?... I have so many web sites, I have them all over the place. I hire people, they do a web site. It costs me $3."
12/14 On Barack Obama:
"Obama is going to be out playing golf. He might be on one of my courses. I would invite him. I have the best courses in the world. I have one right next to the White House."
13/14 On himself:
"Love him or hate him, Trump is a man who is certain about what he wants and sets out to get it, no holds barred. Women find his power almost as much of a turn-on as his money."
14/14 On America:
"The American Dream is dead. But if I get elected president I will bring it back bigger and better and stronger than ever before and we will make America great again."
Mr Trump was speaking after it emerged North Korea has carried out new nuclear weapons tests, which the hermit kingdom claimed involved its first hydrogen bomb.
The 2016 candidate has a track record of praising the leadership qualities of controversial world powers - from Vladimir Putin to the Chinese government. In August, he suggested Mr Kim might be a "genius" and called on South Korea to pay the US in exchange for the ongoing protection of its military allegiance.