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

Donald Trump says 'probably' has a good relationship with North Korea's Kim Jong Un: WSJ
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
PHOTO: Reuters

WASHINGTON - US President Donald Trump said on Thursday (Jan 11) 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 programmes.

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."

Purchase this article for republication.

BRANDED CONTENT

SPONSORED CONTENT

Your daily good stuff - AsiaOne stories delivered straight to your inbox
By signing up, you agree to our Privacy policy and Terms and Conditions.