Russian President Vladimir Putin called Kim Jong Un “shrewd and mature” on Thursday and claimed the North Korean dictator had “won” his most recent standoff with the West over his nuclear program, Reuters reported.
What did Putin say?
“I think that Mr. Kim Jong Un has obviously won this round,” Putin told Russian journalists at a televised meeting, Reuters reported. “He has completed his strategic task: He has a nuclear weapon, he has missiles of global reach, up to 13,000 km, which can reach almost any point of the globe.”
Reuters noted that while Russia has voted in favor of international sanctions at the United Nations against North Korea over the Hermit Kingdom’s nuclear program, they have also called for the West to enter into talks with the Communist regime.
Putin said Kim is ready for such talks.
“He is already a shrewd and mature politician,” Putin said.
Putin’s remarks come just days after North and South Korea entered into the first high-level talks between the countries in more than two years earlier this week.
The talks followed months of escalating tensions over Pyongyang’s nuclear program. Pyongyang recently conducted a series of missile tests and threatened South Korea, Japan, and the United States. The tests increased tensions with the United States, and the Kim traded bellicose taunts with President Donald Trump.
Being nice to Rocket Man hasn't worked in 25 years, why would it work now? Clinton failed, Bush failed, and Obama failed. I won't fail.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 1, 2017
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
The BBC reported that experts said Kim became “increasingly fearful” of a pre-emptive military strike against him by the United States and decided “he must do something to de-escalate tensions.”
After the talks, North Korea agreed to send a delegation to next month’s Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea.