Trump hints at 'good relationship with Jong

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Trump, who has exchanged insults and threats with Kim in recent months, was quoted on Thursday as telling the Wall Street Journal in an interview: "I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un".

On Thursday, President Donald Trump speculated he and Kim Jong Un - the North Korean leader whose regime called Trump a "mentally deranged USA dotard" and whose nation the U.S.is attempting to strangle economically - had a "very good relationship".

"I don't want to comment on it-I don't want to comment, I'm not saying I have or I haven't".

"Trump is convinced the only thing Kim understands and respects is a punch in the face, which he thinks no previous administration has had the guts to do", one US official said.

"We have been much tougher on China, but not almost as tough as I would be, but they are helping us a lot with North Korea, he said in response to a question".

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"I have relationships with people".

The consensus among USA intelligence agencies is Kim is convinced Washington seeks to overthrow him and only a nuclear arsenal can deter that.

When asked whether he had talked to Kim, Trump replied, "I don't want to comment on it".

Next week, the United States and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear stand-off with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world. "But I just don't-", Trump responded. However, the South Korean president said that the talks would only be held if Pyongyang agreed to meet certain conditions. He said that he was willing to sit down with Kim Jong Un on condition that Pyongyang would offer a guarantee to the South Koreans that they were committed to cultivating a lasting peace between the two neighboring nations.

"He is already a shrewd and mature politician", Putin said.

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The countries invited to send representatives to Vancouver are the so-called "Sending Powers", those that contributed troops or aid to the United Nations war effort in 1950s Korea.

"At a minimum, he thinks that warning the Chinese about a preemptive strike would motivate Beijing to force Kim to shut down the programs that threaten the USA", the official said.

Despite the loss of nearly all trade, the impoverished North has pressed ahead with weapons development that Kim's regime sees as necessary for its survival in the face of US pressure.

But Hook said Washington remained in contact with China about enforcing the sanctions and pressuring Kim, and that both Beijing and Moscow would be briefed after the talks. "This is not an alternative to everything that we are doing".

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