Putin calls Kim Jong Un competent and mature politician

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Analysts said the North Portal (Tunnel 2) - where the last five nuclear tests were conducted - of the test site was in a dormant state, with water draining from its entrance. However, stepped-up tunnelling activities have been detected at the nuclear test site's West Portal.

It said that on December 28th there were a large number of personnel, roughly 100 to 200, observed in seven different formations whose objective is unknown in the southern support area.

38North experts believe that the spurt in activities at the Punggye-ri site indicates Pyongyang's continued efforts to keep the site ready for more nuclear tests.

Satellite images showed increased activity at the Punggye-ri site, with mining carts and personnel frequently visible, and excavation waste piles growing, the respected 38North website said Thursday (Jan 11).

No sitting US president is known to have spoken with a North Korean leader. However, Pyongyang is extremely serious about this scenario and is not bluffing when it says that "only one question remains: when will war break out?" he wrote.

President Donald Trump, who's said North Korea won't be allowed to develop a nuclear missile capable of hitting the USA, also said Thursday that he expects the crisis with Kim's regime to be resolved without war. Trump also again indicated he's open to direct USA talks with North Korea under the right circumstances.

"I probably have a very good relationship with Kim Jong-un of North Korea", Trump said.

"You'll see that a lot with me", he said.

"I have relationships with people". "I'm not saying I have or haven't", he said.

Delegates from North Korea and South Korea meet in Paju, South Korea on January 9. Relations between the two Koreas have warmed ahead of next month's Winter Olympics to be held in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang.