Russian President Vladimir Putin calls Kim Jong Un 'competent and mature' leader

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The president declined to say whether he had spoken with Kim, telling The Journal: "I'm not saying I have or haven't". "I just don't want to comment".

"Approximately nine mining carts are present at the West Portal, and there appear to be new rails on top of the spoil pile", 38North experts said in a report.

"Sure. I always believe in talking", he told reporters at Camp David. "Absolutely I would do that, I wouldn't have a problem with that at all".

Washington plans to use Tuesday's meeting to discuss the idea of stopping and inspecting suspect ships bound for North Korea, a senior official said.

But North Korea remains critical of US policy. It has, however, retained back-channel communications through the North's diplomatic mission at the United Nations in NY.

On the Korean peninsula, Kim Jong-un has once again reinforced his growing nuclear weapons capability and apparent willingness to make nuclear threats. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis insisted the move was a practical necessity to accommodate the Olympics and was not a political gesture. Forward-deployed United States nukes would also ease Japanese concerns, both about North Korea and about China, and decrease the likelihood of Tokyo going down the very short path to its own nuclear weapons.

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These expert observers note that while the North Portal, where North Korea tested a suspected staged thermonuclear weapon - a hydrogen bomb - in early September previous year, remains dormant, there is plenty of activity at the West Portal. However, Donald Trump's ill-considered riposte on Twitter-'I too have a nuclear button, but it is a much bigger and more powerful one than his, and my button works'-only heightened global concerns over his mindset on using nuclear weapons.

The North Koreans also expressed their surprise over the popular opinion in South Korea that U.S. President Donald Trump would never start a war in Korea and that the tension, crisis-like atmosphere and belligerent rhetoric are all posturing, according to Vorontsov.

Kim, on the other hand, has charged that he would "tame the mentally deranged US dotard with fire", referring to Trump.

Trump suggested that his fiery tweets against North Korea and Kim during the first year of his administration were part of a diplomatic strategy.

"You'll see that a lot with me", he said. "I could give you 20 examples". You could give me 30. 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]".

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