Trump credits Kim Jong Un for saving South Korea's Olympics, says Otto Warmbier 'didn't die in vain'
In his news conference after meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un on Tuesday, President Trump hit back at the argument that he gave Kim a propaganda coup in return for a vague promise of denuclearization. "I gave up nothing — I'm here," Trump said. But North Korea agreed to "complete denuclearization — that's the big thing — they secured the release of three American hostages," agreed to return the remains of U.S. service members, and stopped testing nuclear weapons.
"They have given up a tremendous amount," Trump said. "You could add the Olympics to the question: They went to the Olympics. They took an Olympics that was going to be a massive failure, that maybe wouldn't have even opened, and they made it a tremendous success by agreeing to participate. Add that to the list of things that they've done."
North Korea did release three U.S. hostages it had seized, but University of Virginia student Otto Warmbier died after spending more than a year in a North Korean prison camp, accused of stealing a propaganda poster. What happened to Warmbier "was a terrible thing, it was brutal, but a lot of people started to focus on what was going on, including North Korea," Trump argued. "Otto did not die in vain."
Trump called Kim "very talented," because he took over North Korea "at 26 years of age and is able to run it, and run it tough — I don't say it was nice, or I don't say anything about it, he runs it."