President Donald Trump said during a rally in Wheeling, West Virginia, on Saturday that he and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “fell in love” in recent months, paving the way toward what Trump called a “great relationship.”
At a rally meant to shore up support for GOP candidates in the midterm elections, Trump touted the de-escalation in tensions between the US in North Korea and noted that only recently were Trump and Kim trading insults and threatening one another.
“I was really being tough and so was he. And we were going back and forth, and then we fell in love. Okay? No really. He wrote me beautiful letters,” Trump said. “They’re great letters. We fell in love.”
Trump was likely referring to the symbolic letters sent personally to Trump from Kim over the summer that were heavy on flattery. Trump added that the media was likely to criticize his glowing praise for Kim.
“Now they’ll say, ‘Donald Trump said they fell in love. How horrible is that? So unpresidential.’ And I always tell you, it’s so easy to be presidential,” Trump said. “But instead of having 10,000 people outside trying to get into this packed arena, we’d have about 200 people standing there. It’s so easy to be presidential.”
In contrast to Trump’s remarks, North Korea’s foreign minister spoke at the United Nations General Assembly in New York City on Saturday, expressing some frustration with the lack of progress in negotiations with the US.
According to the Associated Press, Ri Yong Ho criticized the Trump administration for ramping up pressure and sanctions on North Korea to dismantle its main nuclear arsenal, noting that the US hasn’t given “any corresponding response.”
“The perception that sanctions can bring us on our knees is a pipe dream of the people who are ignorant of us,” Ri said. “Without any trust in the US, there will be no confidence in our national security … and under such circumstances there is no way we will unilaterally disarm ourselves first.”