‘Kim Jong-un is in good health’: Trump sows confusion by proclaiming North Korean leader’s fitness, says ‘never underestimate him’

US President Donald Trump’s unexpected affirmation of Kim Jong-un’s good health provoked an avalanche of both confusion and judgment. The remarks came in the wake of claims about the two leaders’ friendship in a new book.

“Kim Jong Un is in good health. Never underestimate him!” Trump tweeted on Thursday. The president was likely referring to recently-circulating rumors about the North Korean leader falling seriously ill or even dying, despite little evidence backing that up.

Trump’s short tweet provoked myriad comments and rocket-boosted Kim’s name into trending topics on Twitter. At first there was confusion, as Twitter users struggled to grasp the apparent urgency to reassure people of Kim’s stamina. Some even suggested Trump was under the influence while tweeting.

A number of commenters found it ‘problematic’ for the US president to “praise the North Korean dictator,” while many more weighed in with a variety of memes about the pair’s friendship.

The president’s comment was also linked to allegations made in a new book by US journalist Bob Woodward, claiming that Trump is personally friendly with Kim to the point that the latter supposedly confided in Trump about killing his uncle to prevent a power grab.

The book made headlines on Wednesday for reporting that Trump wished to publicly ‘downplay’ the scope of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the author releasing audio clips to apparently back up the assertion. The White House has denied the claims.

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