As President Trump explained to Bret Baier during an interview aboard Air Force One, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is just a young man doing his best in a difficult circumstance. Has he done bad things? Sure. “Hey, when you take over a country — tough country, 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 could do that at 27 years old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that could do that,” the president of the United States said.
So this young man impressed Trump a lot. He was “smart” and a “great negotiator.” And in his 30s, he had already done so much! Why, when he was 34 years old, Trump had managed to execute zero family members with anti-aircraft guns, putting him well behind the Dear Leader. At 72, Trump has not even executed anyone who is NOT a family member with an anti-aircraft gun. He may well wonder what he’s done with his life.
Trump was impressed that Kim had taken over a country at 27 years old, which was very difficult to do. This required repressing a population of more than 25 million, a hard task at any age, but certainly for one who had not crossed the Rubicon of 30. Donald Trump Jr. has a lot of catching up to do.
At such a young age, it is quite a burden to be responsible for so many atrocities. Why, as Trump pointed out, 9,999 in 10,000 people could not do what Leader Kim has done, or would not, because they have consciences, and the immense toll of human suffering for which he bears responsibility would give them nightmares.
Trump thought that Jared Kushner was an impressive young man, and he does not even preside over a regime described by Human Rights Watch as “one of the most repressive authoritarian states in the world.” In the world! Trump knows repressive authoritarian states; it’s a competitive field. America doesn’t even make it onto that list yet, although maybe if Trump really focuses and gets to work, that can change.
As the State Department wrote in a report last year, the North Korean regime of Leader Kim bears responsibility for “egregious human rights violations by the government in nearly all reporting categories including: extrajudicial killings; disappearances; arbitrary arrests and detentions; torture; political prison camps in which conditions were often harsh, life threatening, and included forced and compulsory labor; unfair trials; rigid controls over many aspects of citizen’s lives, including arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, and correspondence, and denial of the freedoms of speech, press, assembly, association, religion, and movement; denial of the ability to choose their government; coerced abortion; trafficking in persons; severe restrictions on worker rights, including denial of the right to organize independent unions and domestic forced labor through mass mobilizations and as a part of the re-education system.” That’s a lot of responsibility for one so young. Most people would never have gone so far.