Trump Boasts of 'Very Good Relationship' With North Korean Leader

Kim Jong-un

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

The U.S. -based Web site 38 North reports that significant tunneling excavation is under way at North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, suggesting the area is being prepared for a future nuclear test.

"I believe, Mr Kim Jong-un has certainly won this round", he added, also saying that the leader "has a nuclear (charge) and a ... missile with a range of up to 13,000 kilometers that can reach nearly any place on Earth or at least any territory of his potential adversary". He quipped on social media last week that the "nuclear button" on his desk was larger than that of the North Korean leader.

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was "shrewd and mature" and had won the latest standoff with the West over his nuclear and missile programmes. "I think you people are surprised".

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"I don't want to comment on it". "I have relationships with people". Kim called the 71-year-old American president "the mentally deranged USA dotard".

But Pyongyang - which boycotted the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul - agreed Tuesday to send athletes and officials to the Games as the North and South held their first formal talks in two years at Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone. While the two Koreas noted the need for peace on the peninsula, the North expressed frustration when the South tried to address its illegal nuclear program.

Kim has vowed never to give up his country's nuclear weapons, regarding them as his last line of defense against a US invasion.

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