New York, Jan 12: US President Donald Trump has signalled that he has developed a “good relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, despite tensions between them.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un,” Trump said in an interview about the first year of his presidency with The Wall Street Journal newspaper.
“I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised,” said the US President.
Trump, however, declined to confirm whether or not he had spoken with Kim, Efe news reported.
“I don’t want to comment on it. I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment,” he replied, when asked by WSJ if he had contacts with the North Korean leader.
Trump has been of late more open, on more than one occasion, to having a dialogue with North Korea.
On January 10, the White House cited Trump’s willingness to hold talks “at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances” with Pyongyang.
The US has had no official contacts with North Korea for years. Over the past few month Trump had hostile exchanges Kim, who has repeatedly been mocked by Trump as a “rocket man” over his weapons programs.
According to the US President, “all these harsh comments were part of a strategy”.
“You’ll see that a lot with me,” Trump said of his belligerent remarks towards the North Korean leader, but added “then all of a sudden somebody’s my best friend.
“I could give you 20 examples. You could give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.”
On January 9, South and North Korea held a “historic” meeting after a gap of two years. The delegations agreed to ensure “the safety and success” of the upcoming PyeongChang Winter Olympics in the South.
North Korea has expressed its interests in attending the Winter Olympics, in February which marks an important moment of possible rapprochement between the two Koreas after a year of tensions triggered by Pyongyang’s continuous weapons tests and the US President’s aggressive remarks towards the regime.
When Asked if Kim intended to “drive a wedge” between Seoul and Washington by opening the talks with South Korea, the US President did not rule it out.
“If I were them, I would try,” he said, but added “The difference is I’m President, other people aren’t. And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s lived.”