Trump bets it all on friendship with Kim


President Donald Trump was looking to flatter his new friend in Singapore when he struck upon an unusual compliment.

He had known plenty of people who had grown up wealthy and whose families were powerful, Trump told Kim Jong Un, the despotic North Korean dictator whose father and grandfather held the same role.
Many of them emerged messed up, Trump said. But, he added, Kim wasn’t one of them.

Of course, Kim rules North Korea with an iron fist and a disregard for human rights. And his stature was gained through birth, not hard work. But Trump’s choice of praise for his new negotiating partner, relayed by a person familiar with the conversation, reflects the US President’s determination to flatter his way to nuclear peace in Asia.
As he embarks upon a second summit meeting with Kim in Hanoi, Trump appears poised to employ the same tactics as he seeks out a concrete road map for North Korea’s denuclearization. Before the formal talks begin on Thursday, the two men will sit for a small dinner with only a select number of aides — an intimate kick-off to a summit balanced on perhaps the world’s most improbable diplomatic friendship.

“It’s a very interesting thing to say, but I’ve developed a very, very good relationship,” Trump told the nation’s governors on Sunday evening before departing for Hanoi. “We’ll see what that means. But he’s never had a relationship with anybody from this country, and hasn’t had lots of relationships anywhere.”

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