- The Washington Times
Saturday, December 7, 2019

President Trump on Saturday said he doesn’t think North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will lash out in a way that disrupts the U.S. campaign season, despite Pyongyang’s short-range missile launches and bellicose language.

“We’ll see about North Korea. I’d be surprised if North Korea acted hostilely,” Mr. Trump told White House reporters as he left for events in Florida. “I have a very good relationship with Kim Jong Un. I think we both want to keep it that way. He knows I have an election coming up. I don’t think he wants to interfere with that.”

Mr. Trump has fostered a personal relationship with the brutal and reclusive dictator. He famously met Mr. Kim last summer at the demilitarized zone that divides the Korean peninsula.

The meeting reignited nuclear talks, though the two sides haven’t made tangible progress.

Things have gotten frosty of late, with officials in Pyongyang reportedly threatening to resume calling Mr. Trump “dotard.”

North Korea has also been firing off short-range missile tests.

Mr. Trump is not bothered by those launches and likes to stress that he’s managed to keep a lid on intercontinental ballistic tests that could pose a threat to the U.S.

The White House said Mr. Trump spoke to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday about issues on the peninsula.

“I don’t know that [Mr. Kim‘s] relationship with South Korea is very good. We’re going to find out,” Mr. Trump said Saturday.

North Korea has hinted at lifting its self-imposed moratorium on long-range tests that could threaten the U.S.

But Mr. Trump says he doesn’t think Mr. Kim will upend his 2020 reelection bid.

“He’s somebody that I’ve gotten along with very well for three years. We’ll see how it goes,” Mr. Trump said.

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