Putin says 'shrewd' North Korean leader has outplayed his rivals

In follow-up questions Trump pushed back against the notion that his relationship with Pyongyang has soured, saying, "you'll see that a lot with me". "I'm not saying I have or haven't", he said.

Trump said the stop-and-go nature to his strategy with North Korea is intentional and part of a broader goal. "I'm a very flexible person".

There's a significant amount of tunneling activity at North Korea's nuclear testing site, commercial satellite images show, suggesting the area is being prepped for a future nuclear test, according to a report from 38 North, a website dedicated to analyzing the rogue state.

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

Direct talks between the USA president and Kim would be unprecedented.

They call each other "Rocket Man" and "Dotard".

Trump recently told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he's willing to speak with Noth Korea "under the right circumstances", while Moon said Trump deserves "big credit" for helping spark the first talks between North and South Korea in more than two years.

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

The talks resulted in the decision that North Korea would participate in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, in February. Trump also again indicated he's open to direct US talks with North Korea under the right circumstances. 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.

In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Trump said he may be open to diplomatic meetings with North Korea after months of trading insults and threats over its nuclear weapons program.

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