Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "shrewd and mature" and had won the latest standoff with South Korea and the West over his nuclear and missile programme.
He added that the North Koreans reaffirmed their country's commitment to achieving nuclear parity with the USA, insisting it does so to preserve their country's survival. Technically, South Korea and the US remain at war with North Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice instead of 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 could give you 20 examples".
Mr. Trump declined to say whether he had directly spoken with his North Korean counterpart. "I just don't want to comment". Relations between the two Koreas have warmed ahead of next month's Winter Olympics to be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.
Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man".
Putin, in a meeting with Russian journalists broadcast on state TV, said North Korea had developed powerful missiles, but now wanted to calm things down.
Kim and President Donald Trump have engaged in an increasingly sharp war of words as North Korea's weapons programs advance, each of them belittling the other. Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged USA dotard".
In another article on 38North, Alexander Vorontsov, the head of the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russia Academy of Sciences, was quoted as saying that North Korean diplomats were extremely serious about the possibility of war between North Korea and the U.S. It has, however, retained back-channel communications through the North's diplomatic mission at the United Nations in NY.
The U.S. announced Thursday that it has deployed three nuclear-capable B-2 stealth bombers and 200 air personnel in the territory of Guam, to which North Korea had threatened to launch a missile in August past year.