Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

OSLO • US President Donald Trump was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for his work in reaching an agreement with North Korea to work towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

The US leader was nominated by two members of Norway's governing Progress Party, Mr Per-Willy Amundsen and Mr Christian Tybring-Gjedde, according to state broadcaster NRK.

The deadline for this year's prize passed in January, so this nomination would make him eligible for next year's award.

It is unclear whether he was nominated for this year's prize, but he was also put forth as a candidate in 2016 and last year.

Nominations for the world's most coveted prize are open to lawmakers, academics and researchers from around the world.

The Nobel Committee in Oslo typically receives hundreds of nominations each year, and past candidates have included Russian President Vladimir Putin, former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and actress Susan Sarandon. A record 330 people were nominated this year.

While the Norwegian Nobel committee is appointed by Parliament, its decisions are independent.

Last year's prize went to the In-ternational Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.

The nomination came as Mr Trump downplayed the human rights record of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in an interview with Fox News.

In an interview that was taped aboard Air Force One while Mr Trump was flying home from Singapore, host Bret Baier said: "You know you call people sometimes killers, he is a killer. He is clearly executing people."

Mr Trump responded: "He is a tough guy."

"Hey, when you take over a country, tough country, with tough people, and you take it over from your father, I don't care who you are, what you are, how much of an advantage you have," the US President continued. "If you can do that at 27 years old, I mean that is one in 10,000 that could do that. So, he is a very smart guy, he is a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other."

Mr Baier paused, before pressing, "But he has still done some really bad things."

Mr Trump downplayed Mr Kim's actions. "Yeah, but so have a lot of other people done some really bad things," he said. "I mean, I could go through a lot of nations where a lot of bad things were done."

The US leader had previously defended Mr Putin.

In February last year, Mr Trump was asked by then Fox News personality Bill O'Reilly about the Russian leader being "a killer".

"But he is a killer," Mr O'Reilly said to Mr Trump, who responded: "There are a lot of killers. You think our country's so innocent?"

BLOOMBERG, WASHINGTON POST

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 15, 2018, with the headline 'Trump nominated for Nobel Peace Prize'. Print Edition | Subscribe