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Trump Praises Kim Jong Un As "Very Open" And "Honorable"


President Donald Trump appears to be striking a softer tone in his comments about North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ahead of a planned meeting with the dictator.

In remarks to reporters during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday, Trump described Kim as being "very open" and "honorable."

Trump predicted that his meeting with Kim would take place "very soon" and noted the North Koreans have said they would like to hold the summit as "soon as possible."

"We think that's a great thing for the world. That's a great thing for North Korea and South Korea and Japan and France and everybody," Trump said.

"We're having very good discussions," he added. "Kim Jong Un, he really has been very open and I think very honorable from everything we're seeing."

The comments reflect a dramatic shift by Trump, who has previously referred to the North Korean leader as a "maniac" and a "madman."

Trump still reiterated his willingness to walk away from the talks with Kim if there is not meaningful progress toward the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

"We'll see where that all goes. Maybe it will be wonderful and maybe it won't," Trump said. "And if it's not going to be fair and reasonable and good, I will — unlike past administrations, I will leave the table.

He added, "But I think we have a chance of doing something very special with respect to North Korea. Good for them, good for us, good for everybody."

An annual report by Human Rights Watch called North Korea one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world, accusing the government of generating fearful obedience from citizens by means of threatened and actual execution, detention, and forced labor.

HRC noted a United Nations report found Kim's regime committed crimes against humanity, including extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape and other forms of sexual violence, and forced abortion.

(Photo: Marc Nozell)

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