- President Donald Trump said he “probably” has a “very good relationship” with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
- Trump suggested that his fiery tweets against North Korea and Kim during the first year of his administration were part of a diplomatic strategy.
President Donald Trump continued floating the idea of developing warmer ties with North Korea, and suggested that his previous rhetoric against the regime was part of a grand strategy.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump said of the North Korean leader, according to a Wall Street Journal report Thursday. “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”
Trump addressed the fiery and furious tone of his tweets that were aimed at North Korea during the first year of his administration, and said that it was how he created friendlier ties with people.
“You’ll see that a lot with me,” Trump said of his tweets, The Journal reported,”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 did not give a clear answer on whether he had already spoken with Kim – something that either elusive or deemed inconceivable in previous administrations: “I don’t want to comment on it. I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment.”
Although Trump’s tone toward North Korea and its leader mostly ranged from “Little Rocket Man” and threats of “fire and fury” last year, Trump, at times, has also praised its leader and indicated that he would be open to talks with him.
Trump appears to be intent on thawing relations with North Korea for now, amid the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea next month, where North Korea has agreed to send athletes and a delegation to participate.
“President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Thursday.
Meanwhile, South Korea has already made headway to ensure it hosts the Winter Olympics without any diplomatic hiccups. It announced it had postponed its joint military exercises with the US, an annual event that North Korea believes encroaches on their sovereignty, earlier this month.