Suggesting he may be open to diplomatic talks with North Korea, President Donald Trump told The Wall Street Journal Thursday that he “probably” has a “very good relationship” with Kim Jong-un, despite months of public feuds with the nation’s rogue leader.
“I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised,” he told the WSJ in a wide-ranging interview from the Oval Office published Thursday. “You’ll see that a lot with me … and then all of a sudden, somebody’s my best friend. I could give you 20 examples. You could give me 30. I’m a very flexible person.”
The comments follow months of mounting tensions between Trump and Kim as the North Korean leader tests global patience with his development of a nuclear arsenal. Trump has called Kim a “maniac,” “short and fat” and “rocket man,” while Kim has taken to labeling Trump the “mentally deranged U.S. dotard.”
Despite efforts by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Trump has been noncommittal on whether he believes diplomatic discussions with North Korea will force Kim’s hand in ending the development of his nuclear program. In October, Tillerson said a line of communication had been opened between the U.S. and North Korea. Trump responded by undercutting his secretary of state, saying Tillerson was “wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man.”