Well you probably are not allowing root logins via /etc/ssh/sshd_config. (PermitRootLogin)
Which is not a bad thing if your machine is directly connected to the Internet.
What that command does is simply log into your own machine via ssh but with Trusted X11Forwarding.. allowing you to run the graphical application as root.
Basically you can't log in as one user, su - to another user and run graphical applications without giving that user permission to access your current X session.
You can either use the "DISPLAY/xhost" route or use ssh (which I find much simpler). There are many topics and howto's explaining this.
If you have kde installed you can try
which should prompt you for the root password and open the app.