Thursday, January 17, 2019 | ePaper

Trump says ‘probably’ has very good relationship with Kim

  • Print


Donald Trump suggested his combative tweets are part of a broader strategy.

Reuters, Washington :
US 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.
Trump has derided the North Korean leader as a "maniac" and referred to him as "little rocket man." Kim has responded by calling the US president a "mentally deranged US 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."
Another report adds: President Donald Trump suggested in an interview Thursday that he has developed a positive relationship with the North Korean leader, but declined to say whether they have spoken.
No sitting U.S. president is known to have spoken with a North Korean leader. The two nations have remained in a state of war and without diplomatic relations since the Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty.
"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un," Trump told The Wall Street Journal. "I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised." Asked if he had spoken with Kim, Trump was evasive: "I'm not saying I have or haven't. I just don't want to comment."
The president's remarks come after North and South Korea this week held their first talks in two years, and the North agreed to participate in the Winter Olympics in the South next month.
Trump claimed credit Wednesday for the inter-Korean dialogue, saying North Korea was feeling the pressure of a U.S.-led campaign of sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile development. He said the U.S. was open to talks with North Korea under the right circumstances.
Trump and Kim have traded bellicose rhetoric and crude insults over the last year, as North Korea has accelerated weapons tests and appears on the cusp of having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the U.S. mainland.
Trump has called Kim "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission." Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged U.S. dotard." In his New Year's address last week, Kim said he has a "nuclear button" that could fire weapons anywhere in the United States, and Trump responded that he has a much bigger and more powerful "nuclear button."

More News For this Category

US eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities grow

US eyes Taiwan risk as China's military capabilities grow

Reuters, Washington  :The United States is closely watching Chinese intentions toward Taiwan, concerned that Beijing's growing military prowess may increase the risk it could one day consider bringing the self-ruled

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister

Brexit deadline could be pushed back on UK request: French minister

AFP, Paris :The European Union could push back the looming March 29 Brexit deadline if London made such a request, France's Europe Minister Nathalie Loiseau said on Wednesday."At the time

Democratic Senator Gillibrand to launch 2020 White House bid

Democratic Senator Gillibrand to launch 2020 White House bid

Democratic US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, an outspoken Donald Trump critic and champion of women's issues including the #MeToo movement, announced Tuesday she was jumping into the 2020 presidential race.Nearly 22

Top Saudi aide fired over Khashoggi murder still wields influence: Report

Top Saudi aide fired over Khashoggi murder still wields influence: Report

Reuters, London :A Saudi royal advisor fired over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi continues to wield influence in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle, according to Western, Arab

Australian towns among hottest spots on Earth as heatwave sizzles

Australian towns among hottest spots on Earth as heatwave sizzles

Australian towns were among the hottest places on Earth this week as a severe heatwave hit the continent's southeast, with forecasters warning of more record-breaking temperatures before the weekend.The past

News In Brief

Trump talked about US leaving NATO HuffPostPresident Donald Trump has made his disdain of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, amply clear. He's lambasted the decades-old alliance as "obsolete,"

Massive US teachers' strike, first in 30 years, affects 500,000 students

Massive US teachers' strike, first in 30 years, affects 500,000 students

AFP, Los Angeles :More than 30,000 public school teachers in Los Angeles walked off the job on Monday to press their demands for better pay, smaller class sizes and more

Iran satellite, that US was wary about, fails to reach orbit

Iran satellite, that US was wary about, fails to reach orbit

AFP, Tehran  :Iran launched a satellite criticised by the United States on Tuesday but it failed to reach orbit, state television quoted the telecommunications minister as saying."The Payam satellite was

Trump, Erdogan consider creating security zone in N Syria

Trump, Erdogan consider creating security zone in N Syria

AFP, Ankara :Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US counterpart Donald Trump mooted Monday the creation of a "security zone" in northern Syria as tensions rose over the fate of

Model claiming Trump's 'Russia secret' goes to trial over

Model claiming Trump's 'Russia secret' goes to trial over "sex scandal"

AFP, Pattaya :A Belarusian model who sensationally claimed she had proof of Russian efforts to help Donald Trump win office appeared in court Tuesday for the expected start of her