Republican US presidential candidate Donald Trump has said Kim Jong-Un deserves "credit" for his style of command. The property magnate marvelled at how "incredible" it was that the North Korean leader had held on to his power in the communist regime.

At a meeting in Iowa on 9 January, Trump told crowds of Republican supporters: "If you look at North Korea, this guy, he's like a maniac. OK? You've got to give him credit. How many young guys – he was like 26 or 25 when his father died – take over these tough generals, and all of a sudden – you know, it's pretty amazing when you think of it.

"How does he do that? Even though it is a culture, and it's a cultural thing, he goes in, he takes over, he's the boss. It's incredible. He wiped out the uncle, he wiped out this one, that one."

Trump was referring to Jang Song-thaek, Kim's uncle, who was reportedly stripped naked, thrown into a cage and eaten alive by a pack of hungry dogs, according to an NBC report; however those claims were later dismissed with The Guardian reporting the man was likely killed by firing squad. The US presidential candidate added: "This guy doesn't play games and we can't play games with him. Because he really does have missiles and he really does have nukes."

Previously, Trump had called the North Korean leader a "total nut job". He told Fox News: "I think it's a serious problem because he is probably on the wacky side."

It's reported that the Communist leader is supporting the Republican in his bid to become US president, according to KB News Daily. The North Korean has apparently been "closely following" the debates.

"The Supreme Leader closely weighed and measured the talents all of the US candidates and gave them all careful consideration," says the alleged official statement from the DPRK government. "Supreme Leader has considered all of the choices and has named Donald Trump the official candidate of the DPRK."