But when asked about whether he spoke with Kim Jong Un, Trump refused to comment.
The Russian leader told reporters North Korea has won the latest standoff with the USA and South Korea, calling Kim Jong-Un "competent" and 'mature'.
"I don't want to comment on it-I don't want to comment, I'm not saying I have or I haven't. China's been helping us a lot, so you can veer a little bit differently, but for the most part everything I have said I have done", he said in response to a question on his electoral promise of being tough on China.
Putin reiterated that dialogue with North Korea was warranted, and said Kim now wanted to calm the situation. "I think you people are surprised". In his New Year's address last week, Kim said he has a "nuclear button" that could fire weapons anywhere in the United States, and Trump responded that he has a much bigger and more powerful "nuclear button". "I just don't want to comment".
President Donald Trump suggested in an interview Thursday that he has developed a positive relationship with the North Korean leader, but declined to say whether they have spoken.
Next week, the United States and Canada are to host a meeting on the nuclear stand-off with North Korea in Vancouver, bringing together friendly powers from around the world. Beijing has imposed limits on oil sales and cut deeply into the North's foreign revenue by ordering North Korean businesses in China to close, sending home migrant workers and banning purchases of its coal, textiles, seafood and other exports.
It remains unclear whether these disclosures by people close to the internal deliberations were simply psychological warfare aimed at sowing strategy-changing fear within the North Korean leadership or reflected Trump's serious intent.However, the administration's debate on whether to put greater emphasis on strike plans has slowed because of the North-South contacts and February's Winter Olympics to be hosted by South Korea.
"He is already a shrewd and mature politician", Putin said.
The administration had been due to hold a Cabinet-level meeting this week to sharpen its economic and military options for dealing with North Korea.
A White House statement said the two leaders discussed Macron's recent visit to China and committed to continue to apply pressure on North Korea.
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