President Donald Trump claims he probably has a “good relationship” with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, although the only apparent interaction the two have ever had is an exchange of taunts and insults.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” the president said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal Thursday. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”
Trump, who jokingly calls Kim “Rocket Man,” said in May 2017 that he would be honored to meet Kim, who he called a “smart cookie.” Later, he said that attempts to talk to Kim is a waste of time, but now he is saying that he would be willing to chat with the North Korean leader on the phone.
The president has threatened the North with “fire and fury,” warning that America is prepared to “totally destroy” North Korea if necessary. Recently, he mocked Kim’s New Year’s address, in which the young despot said he had installed a nuclear button on his desk to order a strike against the U.S.
Kim has, in response, aggressively threatened to tame Trump with fire, calling Trump a “dotard” and “old lunatic.” The North has also sentenced Trump to death on multiple occasions. North Korea has responded to the South’s offers to talk, however, Pyongyang has not yet signaled any readiness to engage the U.S. in dialogue, given the Trump administration’s insistence on complete denuclearization.
The president’s remarks to TheWSJ, while definitely unusual, do appear to indicate that he is actually open to the idea of diplomatic solution to the North Korean nuclear crisis.
“You’ll see that a lot with me,” Trump said of his tweets and rhetoric. “And then all of the sudden somebody’s my best friend.”
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