Donald Trump confirms brutal execution of Kim Jong-un's uncle by North Korea

 One of the most gruesome and awful stories about Kim Jong-un has been all but confirmed by Donald Trump.

Speaking to veteran journalist Bob Woodward, the US president boasted the North Korean leader "tells me everything".

In an interview recorded by Woodward, Mr Trump recounted how Mr Kim described how he murdered his uncle.

General Jang Song-thaek was executed by firing squad on his nephew's orders.

Mr Kim then displayed General Jang's head for others to see.

According to earlier reports, General Jang's body was stripped naked and fed to hungry dogs.

General Jang's aides were then executed using anti-aircraft guns.

Other members of General Jang's family are also believed to have been killed by the regime.

Kim's uncle-in-law Jang Song-thaek was murdered and fed to dogs.

Kim's uncle-in-law Jang Song-thaek was murdered and fed to dogs. (KCNA)

At the time, General Jang had been one of the most powerful figures in North Korea, acting as de facto leader when Mr Kim's father Kim Jong-il was unwell.

Despite knowing of General Jang's brutal death, Mr Trump had glowing praise for the North Korean dictator.

The president showed Woodward correspondence between himself and Mr Kim.

"Do you ever do anything other than send rockets up to the air?" Mr Trump wrote.

"Let's go to a movie together. Let's go play a round of golf."

Mr Trump described Mr Kim's resistance to dropping his nuclear program in real estate terms.

"It's really like, you know, somebody that's in love with a house and they just can't sell it," Mr Trump said.

Woodward is one of the highest regarded journalists in America, having brought down the Nixon White House by exposing the Watergate scandal for the Washington Post.

The book of the Watergate scandal, All The President's Men, penned with colleague Carl Bernstein, was later made into a hit movie.

He wrote a book about the Trump White House in 2018, named Fear.

Frustrated that he was not interviewed for the book, Mr Trump gave 18 separate interviews with Woodward for the follow-up, all recorded.

In an interview on March 19, Mr Trump told Woodward of his concerns about coronavirus, even as he played it down in public.

"I wanted to always play it down," the president said.

"I still like playing it down, because I don't want to create a panic."

Weeks earlier Mr Trump had likened coronavirus to "the sniffles".

Since then, 190,000 Americans have died of the disease.

"The virus has nothing to do with me," Mr Trump said in July to Woodward.

"It's not my fault. It's — China let the damn virus out."

His election opponent, Joe Biden, described it as "beyond despicable".

"He knew how dangerous it was," Mr Biden said.

"And while this deadly disease ripped through our nation. He failed to do his job on purpose.

"Experts say that if he had acted just one week sooner, 36,000 people would have been saved.

"If he acted two weeks sooner, back in March, 54,000 lives would have been spared, in March and April alone."

The upcoming book Rage also features scathing criticism of Mr Trump from former Defence Secretary James Mattis and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

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