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Trump speaks well of his relationship with N. Korean dictator

13 January 2018

Trump spoke Wednesday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and the Blue House readout of the call said the United States president promised he wouldn't attack North Korea while the two Asian nations hold talks. He said the North Korean ruler had succeeded in developing a nuclear warhead capable of hitting any target.

However, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un already said in his New Year message that, despite his desire to improve ties with South Korea, Pyongyang has no intention of suspending its nuclear programme and will continue to develop its weapons to prevent Washington from attacking its territory. Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged USA dotard".

Trump claimed credit Wednesday for the inter-Korean dialogue, saying North Korea was feeling the pressure of a USA -led campaign of sanctions over its nuclear weapons and missile development.

Trump discussed North Korea in a call Thursday with French President Emmanuel Macron of France.

The U.S. has not had formal negotiations with North Korea on its nuclear program since 2012.

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The officials said McMaster has argued that if China were assured that a strike would be limited to one target and not the beginning of a campaign to overthrow Kim, an all-out war could be avoided.

"That's good for the United States that they can at least start getting back into talks", she said.

A South Korean official said Seoul believed the chance of a US strike was still low. However, the official said, "there are military options that could achieve benefits we consider in our national interest at a cost we are willing to bear".

The recent activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site comes on the heels of North and South Korean negotiators meeting Tuesday at the Demilitarized Zone.

"It may be risky after the Olympics", the lawmaker said.

Trump speaks well of his relationship with N. Korean dictator