President Donald Trump said he would ‘probably’ have a great relationship with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, despite ridiculing him on Twitter.
“I’d probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea,” he said in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. “I have relationships with people, I think you people are surprised.”
Trump declined to comment on whether he had spoken to the fiery dictator after they exchanged threats over nuclear weapons.
He admitted that his comments on Twitter were combative, but that they could still have a good relationship.
“You see that a lot with me and then all of a sudden somebody’s my best friend,” he said.
In November, Trump wrote on Twitter that he would “never” call Jong-un ‘short and fat'” and would try hard to “be his friend.”
Why would Kim Jong-un insult me by calling me "old," when I would NEVER call him "short and fat?" Oh well, I try so hard to be his friend – and maybe someday that will happen!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 12, 2017
He also commented on his good relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping, although he admitted that China could do more to stop North Korea.
“Not helpful enough, but they’ve been very helpful,” he said. “Let’s put it this way, they’ve done more for me than they ever have for any American president.”
He also appeared comfortable with his decision to delay military exercises in the region for the Winter Olympics in South Korea.
“I think it sends a good message to North Korea, not a bad message,” he said. “I think it would be totally inappropriate to do that during the Olympics.”
Editor’s note: This post was updated to reflect a dispute from the White House about the president’s quote.
— Sarah Sanders (@PressSec) January 14, 2018