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Trump backs praise of Kim despite brutal history

| Tuesday, June 12, 2018, 7:36 a.m.
In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of a young Ohioan who was detained in North Korea for more than a year and died soon after being released, appeared on Fox News' 'Fox & Friends' morning TV show Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, saying their son was 'jerking violently,' howling, and 'staring blankly' when he returned home on a medical flight that arrived June 13 in Cincinnati. He died less than a week after returning at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
In this March 16, 2016, file photo, American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea. Fred and Cindy Warmbier, the parents of a young Ohioan who was detained in North Korea for more than a year and died soon after being released, appeared on Fox News' 'Fox & Friends' morning TV show Tuesday, Sept. 26, 2017, saying their son was 'jerking violently,' howling, and 'staring blankly' when he returned home on a medical flight that arrived June 13 in Cincinnati. He died less than a week after returning at University of Cincinnati Medical Center.
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.
Evan Vucci | Associated Press
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sentosa Island, Tuesday, June 12, 2018, in Singapore.

SINGAPORE — President Donald Trump is defending his repeated praise of North Korea's Kim Jong Un during their meetings in spite of Kim's distressing record on human rights.

Trump told reporters at a press conference in Singapore on Tuesday that Kim “is very talented.” He pointed to Kim's rise to power at a relatively young age.

Trump has appeared largely unconcerned about the implications of feting an authoritarian leader suspected of ordering the public assassination of his half brother with a nerve agent, executing his uncle by firing squad and killing U.S. college student Otto Warmbier.

But Trump says without Warmbier's death, his meeting with Kim may not have happened. He says, “Otto did not die in vain.”

Trump says human rights did come up during the talks, albeit briefly.

Trump says he believes Kim wants to do the right thing.

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