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North Korea crisis: Trump calls Kim a "pretty smart cookie"

01 May 2017 | Written by Abheet Sethi; Edited by Gogona Saikia

US President Donald Trump spoke of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un during his interview with CBS.

Trump called Kim a "pretty smart cookie" who had to assume power at a young age despite dealing with "some very tough people."

He said he had no idea whether Mr Kim was sane.

His comments come amid escalating US-North Korea tensions, following the North's missile tests.

In context: Trump: 'No idea' if Kim Jong-un is sane

28 Apr 2017Donald Trump: "Major conflict" with North Korea possible, seeks diplomacy

US President Donald Trump told Reuters in an interview that, "There is a chance that we could end up having a major, major conflict with North Korea."

However, he said the US would prefer to solve the dispute surrounding the North's nuclear and missile programs "diplomatically but it's very difficult."

He also praised Chinese President Xi Jinping over his handling of the North Korea.

29 Apr 2017North Korea tests ballistic missile

South Korea and US reported that North Korea has test-fired a ballistic missile, which exploded seconds after take-off.

It didn't leave North Korean territory and was no danger to North America, the US Pacific Command said.

The launch that took place in South Pyeongan province came hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spoke firmly against NKorea's nuclear ambitions at the UN.

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01 May 2017North Korea crisis: Trump calls Kim a "pretty smart cookie"

StatementWhat Trump said?

"People are saying: 'Is he sane?' I have no idea.... but he was a young man of 26 or 27... when his father died," Trump said.

He said Kim assumed power and "A lot of people… tried to take that power away, whether it was his uncle or anybody else. He said Kim held on to power, "So obviously, he's a pretty smart cookie."

Kim had executed his powerful uncle in 2013

Kim had ordered his uncle Jang Song-thaek's execution two years after assuming power. His uncle, who was one of North Korea's most powerful men, was labelled "traitor for all ages" and accused of treason.

DetailsTrump says US shouldn't announce its moves on North Korea

When asked why North Korean missiles "keep blowing up," Trump said: "I'd rather not discuss it."

"We shouldn't be announcing all our moves," he added. "It is a chess game. I just don't want people to know what my thinking is."

Pyongyang has conducted a series of missile tests and is believed to continue efforts to miniaturize nuclear warheads to fit them in missiles.

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02 May 2017Trump: Would be honored to meet NKorean leader Kim Jung-un

US President Donald Trump stated that he would be honored to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un under the right circumstances.

The White House made a statement saying a lot of conditions need to be met before Trump and Kim Jong-un could have a meeting.

White House Spokesman Sean Spicer said "clearly conditions are not there right now."

24 May 2017'A madman with nuclear weapons': Trump's description of Kim Jong-un

In yet another incident, US President Trump called North Korean leader Kim Jong-un a "madman with nuclear weapons", on a call with Philippine President.

The April-29 call also hinted at escalation of tension: "We have a lot of firepower, more than him, times 20…but we don't want to use it," Trump said.

However, Trump had said afterwards he would be "honored" to meet Kim.