Trump insists Kim Jong-un is a ‘man of his word’ despite North Korea ramping up nuclear programme

US president says he ‘gets along’​ with dictator, and claims he would win 2020 election easily if media were ‘honourable’ in remarks at new year’s party

Adam Forrest
Wednesday 01 January 2020 12:00
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Trump insists Kim Jong-un 'man of his word'

Donald Trump has claimed he “likes” North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and said he hoped the North Korean leader would keep his word by upholding a denuclearisation agreement.

The US president was responding to the supreme leader’s claim North Korea would continue its nuclear programmes and introduce a “new strategic weapon”.

Speaking told reporters at his New Year's Eve party at Mar-a-Lago, Mr Trump said: “He likes me, I like him, we get along ... he’s representing his country, I’m representing my country, we have to do what we have to do.

“But he did sign a contract, he did sign an agreement talking about denuclearisation ... That was done in Singapore, and I think he’s a man of his word, so we’re going to find out.”

Mr Trump also said he would be happy to have a trial in the US Senate following his impeachment by the Democratic-led House of Representatives. “I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter.”

“As far as I’m concerned I’d be very happy with a trial because we did nothing wrong. The impeachment – I call it impeachment light,” he added, predicting any Senate trial would “go very easy”.

The president suggested he would win the 2020 election comfortably if the media treated him differently. “If you’re honourable I’m going to win the election by a lot. If you’re not honourable I’m just going to win the election by a little. So I’d rather have you be honourable.”

Mr Trump also addressed the attack on the US embassy in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, having earlier said he held Iran responsible.

Washington drafted in Apache attack helicopters and scores of US Marines to reinforce the embassy compound after storming of the site by Iraqi militia members and their supporters.

“We had some great warriors come in,” said Mr Trump. “This will not be a Benghazi … this will never, ever be a Benghazi,” he added, referring to the deadly attack on a US diplomatic compound in Libya in 2012.

The president has deployed 750 US soldiers to the Middle East, as about 3,000 more are prepared for possible deployment in the next several days.

Mr Trump also said the federal government will soon announce a new strategy to tackle underage vaping, promising. He was vague about what the plan would entail, but suggested “certain flavours” in cartridge-based e-cigarettes would be taken off the market “for a period of time”.

The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration would ban the sale of most flavoured e-cigarettes.

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