Trump can win over Kim Jong Un by appealing to sense of humor, teacher says

BERN, Switzerland — A teacher who believes Kim Jong Un was secretly his student has offered President Donald Trump advice before their looming summit: Prepare some punchlines.

Michel Riesen recalls the boy he knew as Un Pak as being obsessed with basketball when he attended a school in Bern, Switzerland. The 14-year-old also liked jokes — and even tolerated being teased.

"If I look back I see a friendly, gentle, young Asian boy," Riesen told NBC News, referring to the youth who is widely believed to have been Kim Jong Un, now the leader of nuclear-armed North Korea. "A teenager from next door."

Riesen was Un Pak's homeroom teacher in 1998 and also taught him German and math.

"He had a good sense of humor," Riesen said in his first English language interview. "We had a laugh with each other."

Scenes from Singapore for the Trump-Kim Summit

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Scenes from Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's summit in Singapore
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Scenes from Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un's summit in Singapore
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Donald Trump walks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un visits The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
U.S. President Donald Trump flanked by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff John Kelly attend a lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
US President Donald Trump (R) gestures as he meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Retired American professional basketball player Dennis Rodman speaks to the press as he arrives at Changi International airport ahead of US-North Korea summit in Singapore on June 11, 2018. - North Korea's Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump meet on June 12 for an unprecedented summit in an attempt to address the last festering legacy of the Cold War, with the US President calling it a 'one time shot' at peace. (Photo by ADEK BERRY / AFP) (Photo credit should read ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)
The motorcade of U.S. President Donald Trump travels towards Sentosa for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan takes a selfie with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a visit in Merlion Park in Singapore, in this photo taken by Kyodo June 11, 2018. Mandatory credit Kyodo/via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. JAPAN OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN JAPAN.
SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (L) meets with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (R) to attend a bilateral meeting at the Istana, Singapore on June 11, 2018. (Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information, Republic of Singapore / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader, center, tours the Esplanade in Singapore on Monday, June 11, 2018. Kim smiled and waved to a cheering crowd during a surprise late-night tour of Singapore on the eve of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
U.S. President Donald Trump and Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong walk together during a meeting at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader, center, tours the Esplanade in Singapore on Monday, June 11, 2018. Kim smiled and waved to a cheering crowd during a surprise late-night tour of Singapore on the eve of his summit with U.S. President Donald Trump. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
U.S. President Donald Trump is pictured during a meeting at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) poses with US President Donald Trump (R) after taking part in a signing ceremony at the end of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un became on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump holds up a document signed by him and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un following a signing ceremony during their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un became on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - 2018/06/11: President Trump leaves the Sinagpore Istana after meeting with with Singaporean PM Lee Heisn Loong ahead of Trump-Kim Summit. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore as both leaders arrived in the Southeast Asian city-state on Sunday ahead of the landmark summit. (Photo by Sion Ang/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Supreme Leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un (3rd from left) leaves the Singapore's Gardens by the Bay, Marina Bay Sands on night before summit on June 11, 2018 in Singapore. (Photo by Chris Jung/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (R) walks with US President Donald Trump (L) during a break in talks at their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un became on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / POOL / AFP) (Photo credit should read ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (C) walks along the Jubilee bridge during a tour of some of the sights on June 11, 2018 in Singapore. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled in Singapore for June 12 as a small circle of experts have already been involved in talks towards the landmark summit in the city-state. (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
People watch a television screen showing live footage of the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, at a railway station in Seoul on June 12, 2018. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo answers questions at a press briefing June 11, 2018 in Singapore. Pompeo answered a range of questions related primarily to the historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un scheduled for tomorrow June 12 in Singapore. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: National Security Council press spokesman Robert Palladino (4th R) answers questions from reporters at the White House press filing center June 11, 2018 in Singapore. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore as both leaders arrived in the Southeast Asian city-state on Sunday ahead of the landmark summit. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (L6) participates in a working luncheon hosted by Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong at the Istana, Singapore on June 11, 2018. Officials from both delegations also attended the luncheon. (Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information, Republic of Singapore / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - JUNE 11: In this handout provided by the Ministry of Communications and Information of Singapore, U.S. President Donald Trump (R) with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong (L) on June 11, 2018 in Singapore, Singapore. The historic meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been scheduled in Singapore for June 12 as the world awaits for the landmark summit in the Southeast Asian city-state. (Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information Singapore/via Getty Images)
US President Donald Trump (R) shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) as they sit down for their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella Hotel on Sentosa island in Singapore on June 12, 2018. - Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un have become on June 12 the first sitting US and North Korean leaders to meet, shake hands and negotiate to end a decades-old nuclear stand-off. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Armed police officers patrol outside JW Marriot South Beach Hotel, a Marriott Group property, in Singapore, on Monday, June 11, 2018. Trump�met Prime Minister�Lee�Hsien Loong�at the city-state's presidential palace for more than two hours Monday for discussions that were expected to include everything from summit preparations to the U.S.'s tariff threats. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Bodyguards of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un arrive at The Marina Bay Sands hotel in Singapore, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police officers walk around the perimeter of the Capella Hotel on Singapore's resort island of Sentosa, June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Kyung-hoon
The motorcade transporting U.S. President Donald Trump leaves the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tyrone Siu
U.S. President Donald Trump and his delegation have lunch with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and officials at the Istana in Singapore June 11, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
The motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travels towards Sentosa for his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Official cameramen follow the motorcade of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un travels towards Sentosa for his meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump, in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Edgar Su
The motorcade of U.S. President Donald Trump travels towards Sentosa for his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, in Singapore June 12, 2018. REUTERS/Feline Lim TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Police stand guard outside the Capella Hotel in Singapore, on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. President�Donald Trump�plans to shake hands and have lunch with North Korean leader�Kim Jong Un, kicking off a historic summit on Tuesday between two adversaries that only last year had seemed at the brink of nuclear war. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
People watch a television screen showing live footage of the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, at a railway station in Seoul on June 12, 2018. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
People watch a television screen showing live footage of the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, at a railway station in Seoul on June 12, 2018. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump (L) leaves after his meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (not seen) as part of the US-North Korea summit in Sentosa island, on June 12, 2018 at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore. (Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE - JUNE 12: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY MANDATORY CREDIT - 'MINISTRY OF COMMUNICATIONS AND INFORMATION, REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE / HANDOUT' - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) U.S. President Donald Trump waves his hand as he leaves after his meeting with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (not seen) as part of the US-North Korea summit in Sentosa island, on June 12, 2018 at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore. (Photo by Ministry of Communications and Information, Singapore / Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
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The boy often wore NBA jerseys and expensive Nike shoes, according to Riesen.

The teacher recounted once teasing the boy, who was then just known to be a North Korean national but is now thought to be the son of dictator Kim Jong Il, about his basketball skills.

"I said to him: 'Hey, you look already like a pro but there is still a way to go to play like a pro. It's not enough to look like a pro,'" he recalled.

He said Un Pak had "no problem" with such quips.

Riesen added that while some other students at Liebefeld-Steinholzli School were "as good as him or better" on the basketball court, Un Pak always played with "passion."

Riesen said Un Pak was a good student and that his overseas schooling left him with a good understanding of Western values.

"Democracy is part of our being here in Switzerland," Riesen said. "So for sure he came into contact with democracy."

The teacher said Un Pak never appeared to be accompanied by a bodyguard and walked to school on foot. The teen is believed to have learned English, as well as some German and French, during his time in Switzerland.

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Ri Sol Ju with Kim Jong Un in South Korea
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Ri Sol Ju with Kim Jong Un in South Korea
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un pose with Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greet Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un applauds with his wife Ri Sol Ju and sister Kim Yo Jong at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un raise a toast with their wives Ri Sol Ju and Kim Jung-sook at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un share a toast with Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook and Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's wife Kim Jung-sook and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's wife Ri Sol Ju interact at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un walk with Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in's wife Kim Jung-sook and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's wife Ri Sol Ju interact at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters?
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju and Moon's wife Kim Jung-sook at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and his wife Ri Sol Ju at a dinner with Song Tao, head of the Chinese Communist Party's international liaison department, in this undated photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang on April 18, 2018. KCNA/via Reuters ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. REUTERS IS UNABLE TO INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THIS IMAGE. NO THIRD PARTY SALES. SOUTH KOREA OUT. NO COMMERCIAL OR EDITORIAL SALES IN SOUTH KOREA.
Kim Jung-sook, South Korea's first lady, right, and Ri Sol Ju, North Korea's first lady, arrive for a banquet during the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. North Korean leader�Kim Jong Un�and South Korean President Moon Jae-in�agreed to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps/Pool via Bloomberg
Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president, center, speaks as Ri Sol Ju, North Korea's first lady, fourth left, Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader, fifth left, and Kim Jung-sook, South Korea's first lady, fourth right, look on during a banquet at the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. Kim�and Moon�agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the 'complete denuclearization' of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps/Pool via Bloomberg
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) walk with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (3rd L) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (4th L) before the official dinner at the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. - The leaders of the two Koreas held a landmark summit on April 27 after a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries, with the North's Kim Jong Un declaring they were at the 'threshold of a new history'. (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool / Korea Summit Press Pool / AFP) (Photo credit should read KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) toast with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (R) during the official dinner at the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. - The leaders of the two Koreas held a landmark summit on April 27 after a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries, with the North's Kim Jong Un declaring they were at the 'threshold of a new history'. (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool / Korea Summit Press Pool / AFP) (Photo credit should read KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (2nd R) are greeted by South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (2nd L) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (R) at the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. - The leaders of the two Koreas held a landmark summit on April 27 after a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries, with the North's Kim Jong Un declaring they were at the 'threshold of a new history'. (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool / Korea Summit Press Pool / AFP) (Photo credit should read KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (2nd L) and his wife Ri Sol Ju (L) pose for a photo with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (2nd R) and his wife Kim Jung-sook (R) at the end of their historic summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27, 2018. - The leaders of the two Koreas held a landmark summit on April 27 after a highly symbolic handshake over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries, with the North's Kim Jong Un declaring they were at the 'threshold of a new history'. (Photo by Korea Summit Press Pool / Korea Summit Press Pool / AFP) (Photo credit should read KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL/AFP/Getty Images)
Kim Jung-sook, South Korea's first lady, right, speaks with Kim Jong Un, North Korea's leader, left, as Moon Jae-in, South Korea's president, second left, and Ri Sol Ju, North Korea's first lady, second right, look on ahead of a banquet during the inter-Korean summit at the Peace House in the village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. Kim�and Moon�agreed Friday to finally end a seven-decade war this year, and pursue the 'complete denuclearization' of the Korean Peninsula. Source: Inter-Korean Summit Press Corps/Pool via Bloomberg
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However, Riesen said the boy struggled to form close friendships with local children due to his lack of command of the Swiss-German language.

Asked what Trump should do when meeting Kim Jong Un face-to-face, Riesen replied: "Try to find the sense of humor."

In a statement to NBC News, the school said a North Korean teen attended from August 1998 until the autumn of 2000. "He had been registered as the son of an embassy employee," it added. "He suddenly left the school. The boy was well-integrated, diligent and ambitious. His hobby was basketball."

Kang Myung-do, a defector from North Korea and distant relative of Kim Jong Un, said it must have been difficult for the future ruler to live under a fake name in a foreign country with his parents thousands of miles away.

"He led a life in hiding," said Kang, who is now a professor at South Korea's Kyonggi University. "The stress he felt living like that must have been enormous."

Kang described Kim Jong Il, who died in 2011, as "really ruthless" and said he "emitted fear and used that fear to govern."

He suggested that it was important for Trump to remember that Kim Jong Un’s father “was the one who influenced him the most."

Riesen says he often compares the actions of Kim Jong Un — who has repeatedly threatened to destroy South Korea and the U.S. — to the teen he knew during what seems like "another life."

"It’s unimaginable" that Un Pak and Kim Jong Un are the same person, he added. "But he is."

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