North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un (left, probably) waves to crowds on April 15, 2017 (AP Photo/Wong Maye-E, File) and Donald Trump waves on January 20, 2017 (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Reuters has a new interview with Donald Trump that has its fair share of terrifying moments. Like when Trump says that he misses his old life and thought that being president “would be easier.” Or when Trump says that a “major, major” conflict with North Korea is possible. But the most jarring moment might be when he empathizes with Kim Jong-un.

It’s a positive thing when a leader in a powerful position empathizes with an adversary. Typically, that’s something that can de-escalate conflicts and lead to peace. But Trump’s empathy with the dictator of North Korea seems to be coming from a very strange place. Namely, that of a man who sees another man who, like Trump, inherited an empire at a young age.


When Reuters asked about Kim Jong-un, Trump seemed to be projecting all of his own life experiences. Trump, of course, came from a wealthy real estate family and started off on his own (with a lot of Dad’s money, of course) at the age of 27. So guess what Trump had to say about Kim Jong-un?

“He’s 27 years old. His father dies, took over a regime. So say what you want but that is not easy, especially at that age,” Trump told Reuters.

“I’m not giving him credit or not giving him credit,” Trump continued. “I’m just saying that’s a very hard thing to do. As to whether or not he’s rational, I have no opinion on it. I hope he’s rational.”

Yes, it would appear that Donald Trump feels Kim Jong-un’s pain. It’s not easy to take over a regime at 27. Especially when you’re starving your own people to build a standing army of 1.3 million soldiers. Life sure seems hard at the top.


Trump may not want to be the president anymore, but he may be up for dictator of North Korea.



Matt Novak is the editor of Gizmodo's Paleofuture blog

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