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White House pushes back over Trump N. Korea quote

By AFP

Added 14th January 2018 06:10 AM

Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man."

Trump 703x422

Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man."

PIC: US President Donald Trump. (Credit: AFP)

POLITICS | DIPLOMACY 

US - The White House on Saturday denied and corrected a quote attributed to President Donald Trump that suggested he had good contacts with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un.

"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-Un," Trump was quoted as telling The Wall Street Journal in an interview on Thursday, refusing to confirm whether the two had spoken.

"I have relationships with people. I think you people are surprised."

But, press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted - in a Twitter meme - that Trump was misquoted.

"President Trump said, I'D probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. I'd - I'd - I'd. Not I!" the message read, with "I'D" in red ink, under a red banner reading "fake news."

Mockingly mimicking the newspaper's front page, it then reads " The Wall Street Journal – fake news is at it again! Falsely quoting President Trump."

Washington and Pyongyang are in a standoff over North Korea's missile and nuclear programmes, which could be used to target the US and its allies.

Trump has repeatedly insulted the North Korean leader, describing him as mad and a "rocket man."

Asked if he had spoken to Kim, Trump said "I do not want to comment on it. I am not saying I have or have not. I just do not want to comment."

Trump suggested his variable position on individuals was part of a broader strategy.

But it was not clear how his remarks fit with his self-described policy of "maximum pressure" on Pyongyang.

Next week, the US and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear standoff with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world.

AFP

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