President Donald Trump has suggested that he is on very good terms with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un despite their recent debate over whose desk has a bigger nuclear button.
“I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un,” Trump told The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, adding, “I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised.”
When asked whether he had talked to Kim, Trump replied, “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 has in the past called Kim “short and fat” and “a bad dude.” He has been fond of of mocking Kim as “little Rocket Man” because of North Korean missile tests.
Kim has called Trump a “mentally deranged U.S. dotard” and has threatened to tame him with fire.
Trump appeared to tell the Journal that his tweeted insults and the cryptic comment about good relations with Kim were part of his strategy.
“You’ll see that a lot with me,” he said about his tweets. “And then all of the sudden, somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. … I’m a very flexible person.”
The president has gone back and forth between an apparent willingness to meet with Kim and calling such talks, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson’s overtures to the North, a waste of time.
Just Wednesday, Trump told South Korean President Moon Jae-in by telephone that he was now open to talking to North Korea “at the appropriate time under the right circumstances.”
Trump also said he hoped this week’s talks between North and South Korea — the first in two years — would “lead to success for the world.”