Russian President Vladimir Putin, during a meeting with the press, on January 11, 2018 in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday called the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, a „mature politician“ with a formidable arsenal, but also urged him to appease international tensions over Pyongyang’s controversial nuclear program.
Kim, 34, and US President Donald Trump, have maintained in this regard tough confrontations in which they exchanged threats of war and personal insults.
However, there have been signs of a possible appeasement after Pyongyang unexpectedly restored the dialogue this month with South Korea, two years after breaking relations.
„I think Kim Jong-Un won this round,“ Putin told Russian journalists on Thursday.
The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-Un, during a visit to a factory producing potato flour, on December 6, 2017 in Ryanggang
„It achieved its strategic task (…) it has a nuclear warhead, and an intercontinental missile with a range of 13,000 kilometers, which can practically reach any place on the planet, at any speed, at any point in the territory of its potential enemy“, he added.
„He is an absolutely competent and mature politician,“ the Russian president said.
Instead, Putin added that Kim was interested in „harmonizing, calming the situation.“
The Olympic Winter Games in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang next month were overshadowed by geopolitical tensions, with North Korea’s repeated missile tests.
The North Korean government assures that these missiles are able to reach the continental United States, and in addition it has detonated its most powerful nuclear devices to date.
Pyongyang, which boycotted the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games, agreed on Tuesday to send an official Olympic delegation to Pyeongchang in the first formal talks held in two years between North and South in Panmunjom, a border town in the demilitarized zone that separates the peninsula.
The White House said Wednesday that Trump was open for the United States to hold talks with North Korea „under the appropriate circumstances,“ after South Korean President Moon Jae-In showed his willingness to sit down with Kim Jong-Un.