Donald Trump on Kim Jong-un

Quotes by Donald Trump on North Korean Dictator Kim Jong-un


2015 - Jan 2018
June 2018 - 2020

Donald Trump On Kim Jong-un Then
Donald Trump On Kim Jong-un Now

#DonaldTrump 9/19/17: "The depraved regime in North Korea…❲is a❳ band of criminals." » #Trump 7/12/18: "Chairman Kim…it’s an honor to be with you. A very great honor." #KimJongUn Click To Tweet

Quotes by Donald Trump on Kim Jong-un


2015 - Jan 2018

Donald Trump On Kim Jong-un Then
“Nobody ever mentions North Korea where you have this maniac sitting there.”
- Sept 16, 2015

Second Republican Presidential Primary Debate

CNN, Sept. 16, 2015
Transcript: GOP Presidential Debate, September 16, 2015

(retrieved 6/12/18)
starts at 54:11

“I would get China to make that guy disappear in one form or another very quickly… I’ve heard of worse things [than assassinating Kim Jong-un], frankly. I mean this guy’s a bad dude.”
- Feb 10, 2016

CBS This Morning interview

CBS, Feb. 10, 2016
Trump on assassinating Kim Jong Un: 'I've heard of worse things'

(retrieved 6/12/18)
starts at 0:19

“There is nothing more tragic for a parent than to lose a child in the prime of life. Our thoughts and prayers are with Otto [Warmbier]’s family and friends, and all who loved him. Otto’s fate deepens my Administration’s determination to prevent such tragedies from befalling innocent people at the hands of regimes that do not respect the rule of law or basic human decency. The United States once again condemns the brutality of the North Korean regime as we mourn its latest victim.”
- June 19, 2017

White House, June 19, 2017
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Passing of Otto Warmbier

(retrieved 6/12/18)
“No one has shown more contempt for other nations and for the wellbeing of their own people than the depraved regime in North Korea. It is responsible for the starvation deaths of millions of North Koreans, and for the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless more.
“We were all witness to the regime’s deadly abuse when an innocent American college student, Otto Warmbier, was returned to America only to die a few days later. We saw it in the assassination of the dictator’s brother using banned nerve agents in an international airport. We know it kidnapped a sweet 13-year-old Japanese girl from a beach in her own country to enslave her as a language tutor for North Korea’s spies…

“[The regime is a] band of criminals… Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime.”
- Sept 19, 2017

White House, Sept. 19, 2017
Remarks by President Trump to the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly

(retrieved 6/12/18)
starts at 14:00

“Kim Jong Un of North Korea, who is obviously a madman who doesn’t mind starving or killing his people, will be tested like never before!”
“Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me ‘old,’ when I would NEVER call him ‘short and fat?'”
“Great interview on @foxandfriends with the parents of Otto Warmbier: 1994 – 2017. Otto was tortured beyond belief by North Korea.”
“Hard to believe his people, and the military, put up with living in such horrible conditions.”
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man. Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
“Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”
“No regime has oppressed its own citizens more totally or brutally than the cruel dictatorship in North Korea…

“We need only look at the depraved character of the North Korean regime to understand the nature of the nuclear threat it could pose to America and our allies. Otto Warmbier was a hardworking student at the University of Virginia. On his way to study abroad in Asia, Otto joined a tour to North Korea. At its conclusion, this wonderful young man was arrested and charged with crimes against the state. After a shameful trial, the dictatorship sentenced Otto to 15 years of hard labor, before returning him to America last June — horribly injured and on the verge of death. He passed away just days after his return.

“Otto’s Parents, Fred and Cindy Warmbier, are with us tonight — along with Otto’s brother and sister, Austin and Greta. You are powerful witnesses to a menace that threatens our world, and your strength inspires us all. Tonight, we pledge to honor Otto’s memory with American resolve.”
- Jan 30, 2018

White House, Jan 30, 2018
President Donald J. Trump’s State of the Union Address

(retrieved 6/12/18)

#DonaldTrump 9/19/17: "❲Kim Jong-un❳ is responsible for…the imprisonment, torture, killing, and oppression of countless ❲North Koreans❳." » #Trump 7/12/18: "Really, he’s got a great personality." Click To Tweet


June 2018 - 2020

Donald Trump On Kim Jong-un Now
“Mr. Chairman, it’s a great honor to be with you.”
June 12, 2018 -

Trump-Jong-un Singapore Summit

The White House, June 12, 2018
Remarks by President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Before Expanded Bilateral Meeting

(retrieved 6/22/18)
quote starts at beginning
“We have developed a very special bond… I want to thank Chairman Kim… It’s an honor to be with you. A very great honor. Thank you.”
June 12, 2018 -

Trump-Jong-un Singapore Summit

U.S. Department of State, June 12, 2018
Remarks by President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the State Affairs Commission of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at Signing of a Joint Statement

(retrieved 6/22/18)
starts at 4:25

“I learned he’s a very talented man. I also learned that he loves his country very much.”
June 12, 2018 -

Trump-Jong-un Singapore Summit

CNBC, June 12, 2018
North Korean starvation and killings? Trump says Kim Jong Un is 'very talented' but not 'nice'

(retrieved 6/22/18)
starts at beginning

“Really, he’s got a great personality. He’s a funny guy, he a very smart guy, he’s a great negotiator. He loves his people, not that I’m surprised by that, but he loves his people.”
June 12, 2018 -

Voice of America interview

Voice of America, June 12, 2018
Trump to VOA: 'We're Going to Denuke North Korea'

(retrieved 6/12/18)
“I think he liked me and I like him. And I understand the past and, you know, nobody has to tell me, he’s a rough guy. He has to be a rough guy or he has been a rough person. But we got along very well. He’s smart, loves his people, he loves his country… I think you have somebody that has a great feeling for [his people]. He wants to do right by them and we got along really well. We had a great chemistry.”
June 12, 2018 -

Voice of America interview

Voice of America, June 12, 2018
Trump to VOA: 'We're Going to Denuke North Korea'

(retrieved 6/12/18)
“When you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don’t care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have. If you can do that at 27 years old, that’s one-in-10,000 that could do that. So he is a very smart guy. He is a great negotiator, but I think we understand each other

Yeah [he’s done some really bad things], but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things. I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done.”
June 14, 2018 -

Fox News (via Real Clear Politics), June 14, 2018
Trump on Kim Jong Un: 'A Lot Of Other People Have Done Some Really Bad Things'

(retrieved 6/22/18)
starts at 6:53

“We had great chemistry… I got along with him great. He is great. We have a great chemistry together… We signed an incredible agreement. It’s great.”
June 15, 2018 -
“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.”
June 15, 2018 -

Fox & Friends interview; when asked about this quote later Trump said he was 'kidding.'

Politico, June 15, 2018
Trump: I want 'my people' to 'sit up at attention' like in North Korea

(retrieved 6/22/18)
starts at 17:20

“A very nice note from Chairman Kim of North Korea. Great progress being made!”
“Kim Jong Un of North Korea proclaims ‘unwavering faith in President Trump.’ Thank you to Chairman Kim. We will get it done together!”
“I’ve received two letters from Chairman Kim. At some point, I’ll — you know, give these letters. They’re incredible letters. They’re — they’re letters that are magnificent in the sense of his feeling for wanting to get this done. I really believe he wants to get it done. I may be wrong… We have a very good relationship. He likes me. I like him. We get along. He wrote me two of the most beautiful letters. When I showed one of the letters, just one, to Prime Minister Abe, he said this is actually a groundbreaking letter. This is an incredible — this is a historic letter. And it is a historic letter. It’s a beautiful — it’s a beautiful piece of art.”
Sept 26, 2018 -

Washington Post, Sept 26, 2018
President Trump’s U.N. press conference, annotated

(retrieved 2/1/19)
“I was really being tough and so was he. And we would go back and forth. And then we fell in love. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. They were great letters. We fell in love.”
Sept 29, 2018 -

Trump rally, Wheeling, West Virginia

USA Today, Sept. 30, 2018
President Donald Trump on Kim Jong Un: 'We fell in love' over 'beautiful letters'

(retrieved 9/30/18)
starts at 2:19

“I do trust him, yeah, I trust him. That doesn’t mean I can’t be proven wrong about it… I do trust him. But we’ll see what happens…

“I believe he likes me. I like him. We have a good relationship. It’s very important…

“I get along with him really well. I have a good energy with him. I have a good chemistry with him… I get along with him. It’s very important.”
Oct 11, 2018 -

“Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea – I always reply by saying we are in no hurry, there is wonderful potential for great economic success for that country. Kim Jong Un sees it better than anyone and will fully take advantage of it for his people. We are doing just fine!”
“Christmas Eve briefing with my team working on North Korea – Progress being made. Looking forward to my next summit with Chairman Kim!”
“I like him. I get along with him great. We have a fantastic chemistry. We have had tremendous correspondence that some people have seen and can’t even believe it. They think it’s historic.”
Feb 3, 2019 -
“Much work remains to be done, but my relationship with Kim Jong Un is a good one.”
Feb 6, 2019 -

State of the Union Speech

CNN, Feb 6, 2019
State of the Union 2019: Read the full transcript

(retrieved 2/6/19)
“Great meeting and dinner with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam tonight. Looking forward to continuing our discussions tomorrow! #HanoiSummit”
“North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse. He may surprise some but he won’t surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket – an Economic one!”
“It was a very tough dialogue at the beginning. Fire and fury. Total annihilation. ‘My button is bigger than yours’ and ‘my button works.’ Remember that? You don’t remember that. And people said, ‘Trump is crazy.’ And you know what it ended up being? A very good relationship. I like him a lot and he likes me a lot. Nobody else would have done that.”
Feb 22, 2019 -
“The potential is AWESOME, a great opportunity, like almost none other in history, for my friend Kim Jong Un.”
“It’s an honor to be with Chairman Kim, it’s an honor to be together in Vietnam… I think you will have a tremendous future for your country, you’re a great leader.”
Feb 27, 2019 -

CNN, Feb 27, 2019
President Trump meets with Kim Jong Un

(retrieved 2/27/19)
“We literally just left — we spent pretty much all day with Kim Jong-un, who is — he’s quite a guy and quite a character. And I think our relationship is very strong. And one of the things importantly that Chairman Kim promised me last night is regardless he’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear — not going to do testing. So, you know, I trust him, and I take him at his word.

“There’s a warmth that we have and I hope that stays. I think it will… I think the relationship was very warm, and when we walked away it was a very friendly walk. We just like each other. We have a good relationship

“What happened [to Otto Warmbier] is horrible. I really believe something horrible happened to him, and I really don’t think the top leadership knew about it. And when they had to send him home…Otto came back in a condition that was terrible. And I did speak about it, but I don’t believe [Kim] would have allowed that to happen. It just wasn’t to his advantage to allow that to happen. Those prisons are rough, they’re rough places and bad things happened. But I really don’t believe that he was — I don’t believe he knew about it

“[Kim] felt badly about it. He knew the case very well, but he knew it later. And you’ve got a lot of people, big country, a lot of people. And in those prisons and those camps you have a lot of people. And some really bad things happened to Otto, some really, really bad things. He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”
Feb 28, 2019 -

Press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam

Vox, Feb 28, 2019
Read the full transcript of Trump’s North Korea summit press conference in Vietnam

(retrieved 2/28/19)
starts at 2:04

“I never like being misinterpreted, but especially when it comes to Otto Warmbier and his great family. Remember, I got Otto out along with three others… Of course I hold North Korea responsible for Otto’s mistreatment and death. Most important, Otto Warmbier will not have died in vain. Otto and his family have become a tremendous symbol of strong passion and strength, which will last for many years into the future. I love Otto and think of him often!”
“As you know I just returned from Vietnam. I had a very productive meeting with Kim Jong-un. We get along. We developed a good relationship. Very good. We made great historic progress… I had to walk, because every once in a while, you have to walk. The deal was not a deal… The one thing we have done is we have no testing, no missiles or rockets going up. No nuclear testing. We got our great people back. That includes our beautiful Otto Warmbier whose parents I got to know. I am in a horrible position because in one way I have to negotiate, but in another way I love him and his parents. It is a very delicate balance… We will see how it all goes. The relationship seems to be strong and that is an important thing.”
March 2, 2019 -

C-SPAN, March 2, 2019
President Trump at Conservative Political Action Conference

(retrieved 3/2/19)
quote starts at beginning
“There’s been no testing, no anything… But right now– I will actually show you the letter [from Kim Jong-un]. But– I’d show it to you a little bit off the record. But it was– a very nice letter. But I’ve received many very nice letters. And he’s a very tough guy. He’s a very smart person. He doesn’t treat a lot of people very well, but he’s been treating me well. Now, at some point that may change. And then I’ll have to change, too. But right now, we have a very good, you know, relationship. We have a really very strong relationship…I get along with him really well, I think I understand him, and I think he understands me… And I think he likes me a lot. And I think– you know, I think that we have a chance to do something. I’ll tell you what he likes. He’s a very smart person.”
June 16, 2019 -
“Kim Jong Un and North Korea tested 3 short range missiles over the last number of days. These missiles tests are not a violation of our signed Singapore agreement, nor was there discussion of short range missiles when we shook hands. There may be a United Nations violation, but Chairman Kim does not want to disappoint me with a violation of trust, there is far too much for North Korea to gain – the potential as a Country, under Kim Jong Un’s leadership, is unlimited. Also, there is far too much to lose. I may be wrong, but I believe that Chariman [sic] Kim has a great and beautiful vision for his country, and only the United States, with me as President, can make that vision come true. He will do the right thing because he is far too smart not to, and he does not want to disappoint his friend, President Trump!”
“[Kim] really wrote a beautiful three-page — I mean right from top to bottom — a really beautiful letter. And maybe I’ll release the results of the letter, but it was very positive…[a] very personal letter… He wasn’t happy with the tests, the war games. The war games on the other side with the United States. And as you know, I’ve never liked it either. I don’t like paying for it. We should be reimbursed for it, and I’ve told that to South Korea.”
Aug 9, 2019 -
In a letter to me sent by Kim Jong Un, he stated, very nicely, that he would like to meet and start negotiations as soon as the joint U.S./South Korea joint exercise are over. It was a long letter, much of it complaining about the ridiculous and expensive exercises. It was also a small apology for testing the short range missiles, and that this testing would stop when the exercises end. I look forward to seeing Kim Jong Un in the not too distant future!
“Kim Jong Un, who I’ve gotten to know extremely well, the first lady has gotten to know Kim Jong Un and I think she would agree with me, he is a man with a country that has tremendous potential.”
Aug 26, 2019 -

Politico, Aug 26, 2019
White House clarifies that Melania Trump has not met Kim Jong Un

(retrieved Aug 27, 2019)
“I think we are doing fine. Yeah, sure, it’s North Korea has seen their testing short range missiles been doing it a long time. I received a nice note from him recently, it was a nice note. I think we are doing fine… I have a good relationship with Kim Jong-un... Okay I have a good relationship with him. We met at the line, I stepped over the line the first time anything like that has ever–it’s all good.”
April 18, 2020 -

Real Clear Politics, April 18, 2020
Trump: 'Our Relationship With China Was Good Until They Did This'

(retrieved 4/23/20)
“Just heard that Wacko John Bolton was talking of the fact that I discussed ‘love letters from Kim Jong Un’ as though I viewed them as just that. Obviously, was just being sarcastic. Bolton was such a jerk!”
“Kim Jong Un is in good health. Never underestimate him!”
“[Kim Jong-un is] a smart guy, smart. Very smart guy. We get along

“‘He gets along with Putin, that’s a terrible thing’ — no, it’s a good thing if I get along, that’s good. He likes me — I like him. Not so bad. ‘He gets along with Kim Jong-Un, that’s a terrible thing’ — no, it’s a good thing... It’s okay not to go to war, it’s really okay.”
Sept 10, 2020 -

Raw Story, Sept 10, 2020
Trump praises two dictators in less than one minute at Michigan rally: Putin ‘likes me — I like him’

(retrieved 9/19/20)
quote starts at beginning
“The only thing I can tell you for sure: President Xi from China, President Putin from Russia, Kim Jong-un, North Korea, and I could name 40 others, they’re sharp as a tack. They don’t want to deal with Sleepy Joe. One of them said to me, one of the leaders said, ‘We don’t want to deal with somebody that sleeps all the time.’”
Oct 26, 2020 -

New York Magazine, Oct 26, 2020
Trump Admits China, Russia, North Korea Are Rooting for Him to Beat Biden

(retrieved 10/28/20)
quote starts at 0:19

#DonaldTrump 9/22/17: "Kim Jong-un…is obviously a madman." » #Trump 9/29/18: "He wrote me beautiful letters…We fell in love." #NorthKorea Click To Tweet

“We have been respectful during this summit process. Now we must speak out. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for the death of our son Otto. Kim and his evil regime are responsible for unimaginable cruelty and inhumanity. No excuses or lavish praise can change that. Thank you.”

– Fred and Cindy Warmbier, March 1, 20191CNN, March 1, 2019
Otto Warmbier’s family rebukes Trump, says Kim Jong Un is responsible for son’s death
retrieved 3/2/19