WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump suggested in an interview Thursday that he has developed a positive relationship with the North Korean leader, but declined to say whether they have spoken.
The two nations have remained in a state of war and without diplomatic relations since the Korean War ended in 1953.
"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un," Trump told The Wall Street Journal. "I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised."
Asked if he had spoken with Kim, Trump was evasive: "I’m not saying I have or haven’t. I just don’t want to comment."
The president’s remarks come after North and South Korea this week held their first talks in two years, and the North agreed to participate in the Winter Olympics in the South next month.
Trump claimed credit Wednesday for the inter-Korean dialogue, saying North Korea was feeling the pressure of a U.S.-led campaign of sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile development. He said the U.S. was open to talks with North Korea under the right circumstances.
Trump has called Kim "Rocket Man" on a "suicide mission." Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged U.S. dotard." In his New Year’s address last week, Kim said he has a "nuclear button" that could fire weapons anywhere in the United States, and Trump responded that he has a much bigger and more powerful "nuclear button."