- The Washington Times - Friday, June 15, 2018

President Trump said Friday that he admires North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as a strong leader and that they now enjoy “good chemistry” after their historic summit.

“He is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Mr. Trump said on “Fox & Friends” on the North Lawn of the White House. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention.”

With tongue in cheek, he added, “I want my people to do the same.”

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The president made an impromptu visit to the show, which he watches almost daily, to discuss his summit with Mr. Kim and a broad range of other topics.

Mr. Trump said sanctions will come off of North Korea soon, “when we can be sure there is no more nuclear” weapons.

“Once we know that it can’t happen,” he said of further nuclear and missile tests. “You haven’t had a rocket test in seven months. We’re working [on] denuclearization as fast as we can.”

He suggested he will be talking to Mr. Kim by phone this weekend.

“I’m going to be calling North Korea,” he said. “We had good chemistry. We really did hit it off. I got along with him very well.”

Hitting back at criticism that his summit legitimized a dictator, Mr. Trump said establishing a rapport with Mr. Kim has made the world safer.

“When I came into this job, it looked like war — not because of me,” the president said. “I have solved that problem. More importantly than the document, I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un. I can now call him. I can now say, ‘Well, we have problem.’ I gave him a very direct number. He can now call me if he has any difficulty.”

He said of China, North Korea, South Korea and Japan, “We’re all working together, because of me.”

Mr. Trump also praised Mr. Kim’s agreement to begin returning and repatriating the remains of thousands of U.S. soldiers missing since the end of the war in 1953.

“They are already starting to produce the remains of these great young soldiers,” he said.

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