Donald Trump has been criticised for his effusive praise of Kim Jong-un.
The US president met the North Korean leader in a historic summit in Singapore on Tuesday, and didn’t hold back when complimenting his counterpart.
The two men met to discuss the potential denuclearisation of North Korea and both signed a document to ratify their agreement.
After the signing, Mr Trump and Mr Kim appeared on the steps of the Capella Hotel on Sentosa Island holding up the documents.
Mr Trump said: “We had a terrific day and we learned a lot about each other and our countries.”
When asked what he learned about Mr Kim, the US president said: “I learned he’s a very talented man and I also learned he loves his country very much.”
He added: “We’ll meet many times.”
Mr Trump’s comments about Mr Kim have drawn ire from online commentators, who point to the North Korean leader’s record on human rights and his people’s plight.
Trump on Kim: “A worthy negotiator, a very talented man, loves his country.” Has Trump read the UN report on N Korea’s human rights horrors?
— Robert Moore (@robertmooreitv) June 12, 2018
Kim Jong Un kills his own people on a mass scale, by the millions, through both deliberate efforts and through indifference.
Our president just publicly proclaimed that Kim is "a talented man who loves his country very much. An honor to meet him."
— Susan Simpson (@TheViewFromLL2) June 12, 2018
Loves it so much that he has them impoverished and enslaved except for those he murders.Loves his country? https://t.co/i762TPmKxT
— Steve Cohen (@RepCohen) June 12, 2018
Trump on Kim: "A talented man who loves his country very much. An honor to meet him."
For the record of history, never before has a U.S. President spoken this way of a dictator accused of crimes against his own people.
— David Jolly (@DavidJollyFL) June 12, 2018
In 2014, a United Nations report concluded that North Korea’s crimes against humanity “entail extermination, murder, enslavement, torture, imprisonment, rape, forced abortions and other sexual violence, persecution on political, religious, racial and gender grounds, the forcible transfer of populations, the enforced disappearance of persons and the inhumane act of knowingly causing prolonged starvation”.
The report said North Korea “operates an all-encompassing indoctrination machine that takes root from childhood to propagate an official personality cult and to manufacture absolute obedience” to Mr Kim.
Mr Trump was quickly criticised on Twitter for his comments praising the North Korean leader.
RE-WATCH TRUMP’S PRESS CONFERENCE FROM YAHOO UK’S FACEBOOK PAGE:
ITV News Washington correspondent Robert Moore tweeted: “Trump on Kim: ‘A worthy negotiator, a very talented man, loves his country.’ Has Trump read the UN report on N Korea’s human rights horrors?”
Democrat congressman Steve Cohen said: “Loves it so much that he has them impoverished and enslaved except for those he murders.Loves his country?”
Former Republican congressman David Jolly tweeted: “For the record of history, never before has a US President spoken this way of a dictator accused of crimes against his own people.”
“A very talented man who loves his country.” Trump on the leader of a dictatorship where millions have starved to death. Meanwhile, TV news is gushing.
— Paul Hayward (@_PaulHayward) June 12, 2018
“I learned he’s a very talented man…He loves his country.” @realDonaldTrump on his assessment of Dear Leader
— David M. Drucker (@DavidMDrucker) June 12, 2018
I just watched a completely clueless President proclaim a special bond with one of the most ruthless murderers in the world, whom he thinks is “a talented man” who “loves his country.” If I cringed any harder my spine would snap.
— Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) June 12, 2018
The US president said the meetings went “better than anybody could imagine”.
Mr Trump was asked by reporters during his final appearance with Mr Kim what surprised him most during their meetings.
He said Mr Kim has a “great personality” and is “very smart”, which he described as a “good combination”.
The president said the pair had “a terrific day” and “learned a lot about each other and about our countries”. He added that he expects they will meet again many times.
Mr Trump also said he “absolutely” would invite Mr Kim to the White House.