January 11, 2018 / 9:47 PM / a year ago

Trump says 'probably' has a good relationship with North Korea's Kim: WSJ

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he “probably” has a very good relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a change in tone for Trump after exchanging insults with Kim over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.

U.S. President Donald Trump addresses a joint news conference with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg in the East Room of the White House in Washington, U.S., January 10, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Trump has derided the North Korean leader as a “maniac” and referred to him as “little rocket man.” Kim has responded by calling the U.S. president a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”

“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”

Kim has warned the United States that he intends to build a nuclear arsenal capable of hitting the United States, prompting threats of military action by Washington.

Asked whether he has spoken with the North Korean leader, Trump told the newspaper: “I don’t want to comment on it. I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment.”

In November, Trump said while on a trip to Vietnam that becoming friends with Kim “might be a strange thing to happen but it’s a possibility.”

Kim, in a speech last week, said the “nuclear button is always on my desk,” prompting Trump to respond in a tweet that his nuclear button is “a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!”

In the Journal interview, Trump suggested his combative tweets are part of a broader strategy.

“You’ll see that a lot with me,” he said, “and then all of the sudden somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You could give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.”

Trump told the newspaper a decision by the United States and South Korea to postpone military exercises until after next month’s Winter Olympics in South Korea “sends a good message to North Korea.”

North and South Korea held their first talks in two years on Tuesday. Trump told a news conference in Washington on Wednesday the United States would be willing to speak to Pyongyang “under the right circumstances.”

Reporting by Makini Brice; Writing by Katanga Johnson; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Leslie Adler

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below