By GUY ADAMS
The Daily Mail
How long will the lovey-dovey act last? Will the smiles return to snarls at any moment? Or will Trump usher in a new golden age of peace and harmony between the US and a united Korea? Trump is teetotal and loves Twitter. Kim swills fine wine and has banned the internet. But they do have one thing in common – “they both love a good execution” (Daily Mail, June 12).
North Korea requires all adults to complete a decade of military service. It has the world’s fourth largest standing army, just over a million, with another 7.5million on standby.
Most of their equipment is ex-Soviet hardware from the 1950s, 60s and 70s. The Institute for Strategic Studies claims Kim’s troops are ‘reliant on a predominantly obsolescent equipment inventory’.
The US military boasts 1.3million members and an annual budget of $597 billion (£446billion) – almost 15 times North Korea’s annual GDP. The US has around 6,800 nuclear warheads (second only to Russia) with the most advanced having a range of 10,000 km (6,000 miles).
Boeing, Boeing, None
Trump travels the world in Air Force One, one of two Boeing VC-25s – jumbo jets fitted out with a range of military hardware including a state-of-the-art missile defence system.
For his trip to Singapore, Kim was forced to borrow a 747 from China’s premier, Li Keqiang, due to fears that his usual personal Chammae-1, a rickety 30-year-old Ilyushin Il-62 Soviet-made jet, might crash.
Before entering the White House, Trump divided himself between Trump Tower, a vulgar skyscraper in New York, and Mar-a-Lago, a vulgar golfing resort in Florida.
Kim works from a palace in central Pyongyang but at weekend adjourns to a party island – dubbed ‘North Korea’s Ibiza’ – to entertain cronies.
Aerial pictures reveal a sprawling resort of luxury villas dotted around Kim’s giant private palace on a wooded estate.
Who counts calories!
Trump’s favourite restaurant is McDonald’s, due to an obsession with personal hygiene that limits him to food chargrilled to within an inch of its life. His standard dinner order is two Big Macs, two Filet-O-Fish burgers and a chocolate milkshake – adding up to an epic 2,430 calories and enough salt to give a bull elephant heart palpitations.
Kim’s culinary passions were by contrast forged at school in Switzerland. He likes rosti, the fat-laden national potato dish, and has a serious weakness for imported European cheese which (much like Trump’s passion for hamburgers) is writ large in his ever-expanding waistline.
Coke or champagne?
Trump is largely teetotal, a lifestyle choice he ascribes to the loss of elder brother Fred Jr, who died as a result of alcoholism in his early 40s. Instead he gulps down vast quantities of Diet Coke – 12 cans a day according to the New York Times last year.
Kim is less abstemious. He is a big fan of fine wine, quaffing so much champagne at the recent state dinner with South Korea that he became ‘bleary eyed’, witnesses said.
Tale of the scales
Kim, who is often photographed in high heels, is 5ft 9inches.
Both roly-poly world leaders look dangerously overweight, but is either officially obese? As so often, when it comes to this delicate subject, it depends who you talk to. In January, White House doctor Ronny Jackson claimed Trump was in ‘excellent shape’, saying he was 6ft 3in and weighed 239lb (just over 17st).
Incredibly, this made the President 1lb under the clinical obesity threshold, leading many to speculate that figures were fiddled.
Kim, who is often photographed in high heels, is around 5ft 9in. But his weight has ballooned to around 15st, exacerbating soreness in his knees (which he has suffered since purportedly crashing a racing car in 2007).
Life and loves
Like many a billionaire, Trump is curiously attractive to a certain sort of upwardly-mobile young woman, and has over the years ploughed through three wives, producing five children in the process.
Kim has managed just the one spouse: a former cheerleader and cabaret singer called Ri Sol-ju. They are thought to have married in 2009 and have three children, the oldest born in 2010. He has been more ruthless with his exes than Donald ever would. Former girlfriend Hyon Song-wol, a singer, was arrested in 2013 and executed by firing squad.
The little princes
Both were raised into a form of royalty. Trump spent his early years in the New York suburb of Queens, in a mock-Tudor house that can now be rented for $800 a night on Airbnb, and grew up secure in the knowledge he would inherit around $40million in his late 20s.
Kim grew up at the presidential palace in Pyongyang, second child of ruler Kim Jong-il and his wife Kim Yong-hui. Most intelligence about his childhood comes from Fujimoto, the family sushi chef who defected. He portrayed the future despot as a spoiled child who learned to drive at seven (‘they put a little box beneath his seat to help him reach the pedals’) and who would fight viciously with any friends or relatives silly enough to beat him at a board games.
Rest and relaxation
Trump is all about golf, playing some 110 rounds in the 18 or so months since he took office, at a cost to US taxpayers of $67million.
Kim’s sport is basketball. Though now too overweight to play, he became a huge fan during the late 90s. During his time in Switzerland, Kim also spent plenty of time on the ski slopes. Perhaps that explains not only why he recently ordered the construction of Masik Pass – a multi-million-pound ski resort – but was also anxious to send a large delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, a gesture which brought the thaw in relations that led to this week’s summit.
Kim’s basketball obsession underpins a curious friendship with Dennis Rodman, a former NBA star who since retirement has become a tattooed reality TV personality.
Rodman has made several (apparently paid) trips to Pyongyang, leading to speculation that he helped maintain a back-channel line of communication between Washington and North Korea.
Trump’s status as a bete noire of Hollywood liberals makes his roster of celebrity chums even more eclectic. It includes Right-wing rock stars Ted Nugent and Kid Rock, plus Roseanne Barr – the TV comedian pulled from the airwaves last week for putting racist content on social media.
Trump’s favourite restaurant is McDonald’s, due to an obsession with personal hygiene that limits him to food chargrilled to within an inch of its life. Recent research has revealed that the high-fat junk food diet favored by Trump is linked to Alzheimers. (See here and here).
The pesky press
If there’s one thing both leaders can agree on, it’s their shared loathing of the impertinent Fourth Estate. Trump rails endlessly against the alleged ‘fake news’ propagated by the world’s ‘lame-stream’ media, publicly attacking reporters and news organisations who seek to hold him to account.
Kim has a more effective media management policy: like all Left-wing dictators, he bans independent news, forcing North Koreans to get information via state TV and radio or two government newspapers – the Pyongyang Times and Rodong Sinmun – which sprinkle everything from sports reports to weather forecasts with tributes to the ‘dear, respected Kim Jong-un’.
Life is tweet
Trump spends the wee hours using Twitter to share often somewhat incoherent observations about world affairs. But Kim doesn’t ‘do’ Twitter – or indeed any other form of social media, having outlawed the ‘imperialist’ internet. The country’s version, the kwangmyong, is largely used by academics and civil servants, and reportedly permits access to a mere 28 websites.
Trump recently called for drug dealers to get the death penalty, outraging the liberal media. But that’s playground stuff compared with Kim, who once bumped off a disloyal general, Hyon Yong-choi, by having him shot by a rocket launcher on a military firing range.
They’re so popular!
It was a landslide for Kim the last time his people went to the ballot box, in 2014, with 100 per cent of voters supporting his election to the country’s highest legislative body, on a turnout of 99.7 percent.
Kim’s former girlfriend Hyon Song-wol, a singer, was arrested in 2013 and executed by firing squad
Trump can only dream of such popular support. The 62.9million votes he secured in 2016, on a 55.7 per cent turnout, was almost three million fewer than Hillary Clinton managed and he only gained the White House by winning narrow races in key marginal states.
Trump has over the years enjoyed cameo roles in countless Hollywood staples, including Home Alone, Zoolander, and various episodes of Wrestlemania, along with Sex And The City and his country’s version of The Apprentice, which he hosts.
The absence of a TV industry in North Korea has meant slimmer pickings for Kim.
However his father was pilloried in Team America, a 2004 satirical puppet movie by the makers of South Park, and he was impersonated in the 2014 comedy The Interview. Trump also did Pizza Hut advertisements. Kim presumably would prefer to eat the stuff.
When North Korea conducted a provocative missile test last year, Trump used Twitter to threaten ‘fire and fury’ towards the ‘little rocket man’. He’s also called Kim a ‘maniac’, said Pyongyang was the ‘last place on earth I’d want to go’ and asked: ‘Does this guy have anything better to do with his life?’
Kim responded in kind, instructing state TV to broadcast footage of military bands playing a popular marching song called ‘Death to the US Imperialist Aggressors!’ In official statements, his spokesmen have called Trump a ‘madman’ and a ‘mentally deranged US dotard’.