Kim and Moon Dance on Thin Ice — CARTOON


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

Washington (CNN)US President Donald Trump would not say on Thursday whether he has talked with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, saying he "probably" has a good relationship with the rogue leader. The Trump administration has previously sent mixed signals on its preconditions before beginning a dialogue with the regime.

Trump has been of late more open, on more than one occasion, to having a dialogue with North Korea. "But, you know that", Trump said during a 2015 Republican debate. I could give you 20 examples. "I hope we do", the president added. Trump has said North Korea won't be allowed to develop a nuclear missile capable of striking the United States, and has threatened war if economic sanctions and negotiations can't avert Kim's ambitions for such a weapon.

"I got to know (Putin) very well because we were both on '60 Minutes, ' we were stablemates, and we did very well that night".

South and North Korean delegations attend their meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, January 9, 2018.

The president's remarks come after North and South Korea this week held their first talks in two years, and the North agreed to participate in the Winter Olympics in the South next month.

During the phone conversation, Moon and Trump saw a possibility that the inter-Korean talks can lead to the U.S. -DPRK dialogue for the denuclearized Korean Peninsula beyond the DPRK's participation in the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. Moon credited Trump for facilitating those talks, saying in an address Wednesday prior to his call with the US president that Trump played a "big" role. North Korea's aggressive pursuit of a ballistic missile capable of hitting the United States with a nuclear warhead has emerged as the president's most fraught foreign crisis.

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Moon is no stranger to lavishing Trump with obsequious praise.

"He's very thankful for what we've done". Trump told reporters as he met members of his Cabinet at the White House.

But White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said the two leaders, who spoke by telephone, also "underscored the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea".

"We can not say talks are the sole answer", Moon added.

Pence will also travel to Alaska, where he is expected to review the missile defense system, as well as to Japan.

Moon's praise for Trump is being seen as an attempt to ease USA concerns that the recent thaw in cross-border ties could drive a wedge between Seoul and Washington.

During the 30-minute call, Xi said he supported Moon's stance that the advancement of inter-Korean ties and the denuclearization of the peninsula should "go in parallel", Moon's office said.

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North Korea a year ago increased the pace of its missile programme.

Russian Federation and North Korea share part of their border and maintain somewhat cordial relations. "That is our basic stance, and that will never be given up".

"More disturbing, it reinforced Kim's determination to keep his nuclear weapons and may have increased the risk that the North could misinterpret US military exercises as the prelude to a regime-threatening attack and decide that it has nothing to lose by striking first".

It's unclear whether there will be discussions in Vancouver on the "first strike" option, which would see the USA and possibly other nations launch pre-emptive attacks on North Korea's missile facilities.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un conducts inspection on science academy in his first public event since his New Year's address.

"To have the summit, some conditions must be established".

The statement did not specify the circumstances, but the openness to talks with Pyongyang marks a shift for Trump.

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"By doing that, he can help the USA build logic for moving toward negotiations and turning around the state of affairs in the future, so when they were ready to talk to the North, they can say the North came out of isolation because the sanctions were effective", he said.