Trump, Putin Speak After Russian Leader Praises US Economy

Geneva Matthews
December 18, 2017

The two presidents discussed ways to work together to address North Korea's nuclear and ballistic weapons program, with Mr Putin warning the U.S. against using force against the rogue nation.

A new round of tension around North Korea spiraled on November 29 when Pyongyang carried out a missile launch, the first one since September 15.

Putin had applauded Trump and his handling of the USA economy at an annual end-of-year press conference that was broadcast on Russian national television Thursday, saying, "Look at the markets, how they've risen".

The presidents of Russian Federation and the United States, Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump, have held a phone conversation to discuss various global issues, including the Korean nuclear problem, the Kremlin press service said on Friday.

"President Trump thanked President Putin for acknowledging America's strong economic performance in his annual press conference", the statement read. "China is helping. Russian Federation is not helping".

In a lengthy piece based on interviews with more than 50 current and former USA officials, The Washington Post revealed tensions at the very top of the administration over Russian Federation.

Some also believe that China is helping North Korea further develop its weapons, based on the progress it has made with submarine ballistic missile technology. "The pressure campaign must and will continue until de-nuclearization is achieved", Mr Tillerson told a meeting of the United Nations Security Council.

"Continuing to allow North Korean laborers to toil in slave-like conditions inside Russian Federation in exchange for wages used to fund nuclear weapons programs calls into question Russia's dedication as a partner for peace", Tillerson told the United Nations council.

Trump's North Korea strategy to trigger starvation?

The two also discussed the nuclear crisis in North Korea, according to official statements from both governments. Tillerson suggested there would be no nuclear-related preconditions to talks with North Korea, but the White House swiftly rebuked his claim. "We will in the meantime keep our channels of communication open".

North Korea's murderous leader has refused to end his country's nuclear weapons program.

"If the North Koreans conduct an additional test of a nuclear bomb - their seventh - I would say 70 per cent".

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