Tags: North Korea | donald trump | kim jong un | north korea | good relationship

Trump to WSJ: 'I Probably Have a Good Relationship' With NKorea's Kim

Trump to WSJ: 'I Probably Have a Good Relationship' With NKorea's Kim
Kim Jong Un (AP)

By    |   Thursday, 11 January 2018 05:37 PM

President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had developed a positive relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, telling The Wall Street Journal that "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un" amid increasing tensions over his nuclear ambitions.

"I have relationships with people," Trump said in an Oval Office interview. "I think you people are surprised."

But asked whether he had spoken to Kim, Trump responded: "I don't want to comment on it.

"I'm not saying I have or haven't. I just don't want to comment."

Trump and Kim have traded barbs with each other in recent months, as Pyongyang has stepped up its testing of nuclear weapons — including a hydrogen bomb in September.

Trump has called Kim a "maniac," a "bad dude," mocking him as "short and fat" and slammed him repeatedly as "rocket man."

Kim, on the other hand, has charged that he would "tame the mentally deranged U.S. dotard with fire," referring to Trump.

In his Journal interview, Trump said his comments were part of a broader approach toward Pyongyang.

"You'll see that a lot with me," he said about his combative tweets on North Korea, "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."

The U.S. does not have formal diplomatic relations with North Korea, with talks over Pyongyang nuclear ambitions with other countries breaking down in 2009.

However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said in October that "we have lines of communication to Pyongyang — we're not in a dark situation, a blackout."

He declined to elaborate further.

Trump also praised China for its help pressuring North Korea to end its nuclear program, adding, however, that "they can do much more."

He also welcomed North Korea participating in the Winter Olympics next month in the South, though he acknowledged that Pyongyang might be using the event — as well as recent talks with the country after more than two years — to try to separate Washington and Seoul.

"If I were them, I would try," Trump said.

"The difference is I'm president, other people aren't," he said. "And I know more about wedges than any human being that's lived."

President Trump also discussed NAFTA, saying re-negotiations might bring forth funding for the wall on the U.S. border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration.

"They can pay for it indirectly through NAFTA," Trump said, referring to Mexico.

The president has repeatedly said that Mexico would pay for the wall, which has been steadily denied by Mexican officials.

"We make a good deal on NAFTA, and, say, I'm going to take a small percentage of that money and it's going toward the wall.

"Guess what? Mexico's paying."

He added that he also would terminate NAFTA if the parties could not reach a fair agreement.

The president called it "a Trump deal," telling the Journal that he was "leaving it a little bit flexible" until after Mexico's presidential election later this year.

"I understand that a lot of things are hard to negotiate prior to an election," Trump said. "They have an election coming up fairly shortly.

"I understand that makes it a little bit difficult for them."

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President Donald Trump said Thursday that he had developed a positive relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un, telling The Wall Street Journal that "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un" amid increasing tensions over his nuclear ambitions.
donald trump, kim jong un, north korea, good relationship
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2018-37-11
Thursday, 11 January 2018 05:37 PM
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