Duterte on North Korea’s Kim Jong Un: “naging idol ko tuloy siya”

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 29 April) – President Rodrido Duterte expressed his admiration for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after the historic April 27 inter-Korea Summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to end the 68-year Korean War, both leaders pledging to sign a peace treaty this year.

“Naging idol ko tuloy siya,” said Duterte who had earlier criticized the North Korean leader.

The President noted that the North Korean leader had been pictured to be “the bad boy of the community but with one master stroke, he is now the hero of everybody. He appears to be amiable, jolly good fellow, and very accommodating,” Duterte told a press conference after his arrival from Singapore here in the early hours of Sunday.

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte answers questions upon his arrival at the Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao City in the early hours of April 29, 2018. RENE LUMAWAG/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

The President admired Kim’s right timing in holding the highly-anticipated peace summit with Moon, along the demilitarized zone in Panmunjom.

“I hope he remains to be that way because nobody is really after him. Just a matter of historical divide which was created there, wala naman kasali ang buong mundo (the whole world is not involved),” he added.

The President said he would like to personally congratulate the North Korean Leader, who has committed to pursue complete denuclearization, if he gets to meet him.

“Sabihin ko sa kanya, ‘bilib ako sa’yo. Marunong ka mag-timing.’ (I will tell him, ‘I’m impressed with you. You know the right timing.” Kaya (This is why) heroism is sometimes left to chance, otherwise it’s purposely timed,” he added.

With the relationship between the North and the South warming after nearly seven decades of conflict, Duterte said the reunification eases tension in the Korean Peninsula.

“And maybe, just maybe, we can avoid a war which nobody can win anyway,” he added. (Antonio L. Colina IV / Mindanews)