Global News

Putin Says North Korean Leader Is 'Shrewd, Mature Politician'

Putin Says North Korean Leader Is 'Shrewd, Mature Politician'

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with news agencies and print media top editors in Moscow on January 11, 2018.

You've won this round, Mr. Kim.

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 programs. On December of 2016, he called Putin "very smart" and a few months later in an interview with Bill O'Reilly, Trump said "I do respect [Putin]".

"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".

Pyongyang and the United States have engaged in a war of words amid the North's continued testing of its nuclear and ballistic-missile programs, which have been banned by United Nations resolutions.

Putin's praise follows President Trump boasting that he was responsible for the diplomatic developments.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with news agencies and print media top editors in Moscow
Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with news agencies and print media top editors in Moscow

He has also criticized China for supporting North Korea and urged them to increase sanctions on the nation.

Trump has taken to using the insult "Little Rocket Man", when referring to Kim and has threatened to destroy the country on several occasions. Trump is Kim's senior by 37 years.

Putin said Thursday he believes the crisis can be resolved without conflict.

"He has completed his strategic task: He has a nuclear weapon, he has missiles of global reach, up to 13,000 kilometers, which can reach nearly any point of the globe", the Russian president added.

Now, in his view, Kim is "cleaning up the situation, smoothing it, calming it".