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Oh No, Putin Just Said Kim Jong-un “Won This Round” in His Showdown With Trump

Trump, Putin, Kim.
Trump, Putin, Kim.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images; Alexey Nikolsky/AFP/Getty Images; STR/AFP/Getty Images

On Wednesday, my colleague Joshua Keating praised South Korean president Moon Jae-in for the savvy move of giving Donald Trump credit he probably doesn’t deserve for North Korea’s recent agreement to hold talks with the South. The theory is that we are all less likely to die in nuclear hellfire if Trump is feeling good about himself whether or not that feeling is justified by reality. And on that front, there’s some bad news, via Reuters:

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was “shrewd and mature” and had won the latest standoff with the West over his nuclear and missile programs.

“I think that Mr Kim Jong Un has obviously won this round. He has completed his strategic task: he has a nuclear weapon, he has missiles of global reach, up to 13,000 km, which can reach almost any point of the globe,” Putin told Russian journalists at a televised meeting.

God dang it! I’m beginning to think Vladimir Putin does not have the United States’ or the world’s best interests in mind. (Although, to be clear, he is probably right in that the North is returning to negotiations in a stronger position after having developed more advanced weapons systems against the wishes of the U.S.)

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