Putin calls Kim Jong Un competent and mature politician

Kim Jong Un a competent and mature leader, says Russia's Vladimir Putin

No conversation has been publicly reported between any sitting US president and a North Korean leader in decades, if ever.

President Trump, who has repeatedly called Kim Jong-Un "Rocket Man" and his government a "band of criminals" while threatening to destroy the country with "fire and fury", said Thursday that he has a "very good relationship" with the Korean dictator.

"I believe Mr Kim Jong-Un has won this round", Putin told Russian journalists on Thursday. "I think you people are surprised".

"You'll see that a lot with me", he said, referring to his tweets attacking Kim. "I'm not saying I have or haven't", he said.

Trump claimed credit Wednesday for the inter-Korean dialogue, saying North Korea was feeling the pressure of a US -led campaign of sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile development. Technically, South Korea and the US remain at war with North Korea after the Korean War ended in 1953 with an armistice instead of a peace treaty. "I just don't want to comment".

North Korea's Punngye-ri nuclear test site has recently witnessed increased activities, which could indicate that the reclusive nation may be preparing for yet another missile test. Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged USA dotard".

"These activities underscore North Korea's continued efforts to maintain the Punggye-ri sites potential for future nuclear testing", it said.

The Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang next month have always been overshadowed by geopolitical tensions, with the North repeatedly test-firing missiles it says are capable of reaching the United States mainland, and detonating its most powerful nuclear device to date.

Trump's strategy with North Korea has been hot and cold.

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