Published: Sun, January 14, 2018
World | By Melba Underwood

Trump Boasts of 'Very Good Relationship' With North Korean Leader

Trump Boasts of 'Very Good Relationship' With North Korean Leader

Trump's comments come days after representatives from North and South Korea held day-long negotiations in the demilitarized zone, where Pyongyang agreed to send a delegation to next month's Winter Olympics and to hold talks with Seoul to ease military tensions.

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un as a "mature politician" with a formidable arsenal, but also urged him to defuse global tensions over Pyongyang's controversial nuclear program.

"I believe Mr Kim Jong-Un has won this round", Putin told Russian journalists on Thursday. "I think you people are surprised".

Asked if he had spoken to Kim, Trump said "I don't want to comment on it". I'm not saying I have or haven't.

"These officials were truly baffled that a majority of the South Korean population does not seem to have grasped the reality that the Trump administration, despite the risks, is inching ever closer to a preventive strike on North Korea", he said.

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North Korea has stepped up tunnelling at its main nuclear test site, a United States think tank said, even as tensions cool on the peninsula following the resumption of long-stalled inter-Korean dialogue.

The president said the USA was open to talks with North Korea under the right circumstances.

"You'll see that a lot with me", he said, "and then all of the sudden somebody's my best friend".

A B-1B Lancer strategic bomber, two F-35A and two F-35B stealth jets of the U.S. and two F-16K and two F-15K fighters of South Korea fly in formation over the Korean Peninsula in this year's annual joint South Korea-U.S. air force drill, Vigilant Ace, on December 6, 2017, in this photo provided by the air force. "I'm a very flexible person".

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