Trump resurrects 'Rocket Man' nickname for North Korean leader

President TrumpDonald John TrumpMinneapolis erupts for third night, as protests spread, Trump vows retaliation Stocks open mixed ahead of Trump briefing on China The island that can save America MORE on Tuesday revived the “Rocket Man” nickname he has used to refer to North Korean leader Kim Jong UnKim Jong UnKim Jong Un seeks to continue bolstering North Korea's nuclear capabilities, state media says Overnight Defense: State Dept. watchdog was investigating emergency Saudi arms sales before ouster | Pompeo says he requested watchdog be fired for 'undermining' department | Pensacola naval base shooter had 'significant ties' to al Qaeda, Barr says Trump says investigation into Pompeo shows 'screwed up' priorities MORE while discussing relations with Pyongyang.

When asked in London why North Korea has continued its nuclear program, Trump told reporters that “he definitely likes sending up rockets, doesn’t he,” referring to Kim.

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“That’s why I call him Rocket Man,” Trump said.

He added: “I have confidence in him. I like him, he likes me, we have a good relationship. ... We’ll see what happens. It may work out, it may not.”

“If I weren’t president, you’d be in a war right now in Asia, and who knows where that leads,” he continued.

Trump famously called the North Korean leader “Rocket Man” in 2017, when he said Kim was on a “suicide mission for himself and for his regime” as nuclear tensions between the two nations ran high.

Kim earlier in 2019 set an end-of-the-year deadline for an agreement on denuclearization. After months of stalled nuclear talks, North Korea said in November that the U.S. had offered to resume negotiations. 

Negotiations first fell apart in February in Vietnam after the U.S. refused to lift sanctions for North Korea to partially relinquish its nuclear weapons. Talks also failed in October after North Korea called the U.S. proposals for negotiations “sickening.”

Trump is currently in London for a meeting of NATO leaders.