Trump on North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un: 'You Gotta Give Him Credit'

Trump praised Jong-un for his efficacy in dispatching his political opponents.

ByABC News
January 10, 2016, 2:54 PM

— -- Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump appeared to praise North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying at a rally Saturday that "it's incredible" how he was able to dispatch his political opponents.

Trump called Jong-Un a "maniac" during remarks about North Korea's nuclear program during a rally at Ottumwa, Iowa, but conceded, "You gotta give him credit."

"How many young guys -- he was like 26 or 25 when his father died -- take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden ... he goes in, he takes over, and he’s the boss," Trump said. "It's incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one. I mean this guy doesn't play games. And we can't play games with him."

Last week North Korea announced it had successfully detonated a hydrogen bomb after an earthquake was detected near previous test sites, though the White House quickly disputed the claim. North Korea released an image of Jong-un personally authorizing the test.

The next morning Trump said that North Korea was under the "total control" of China.

Yesterday's remarks were not the first time Trump has been complimentary of an antagonist of the U.S. The real estate mogul has previously drawn criticism for accepting praise from Russian President Vladimir Putin, calling it a "great honor to be so nicely complimented by a man so highly respected within his own country and beyond.”