US President Donald Trump insisted Friday that the United States has a "very nice" relationship with North Korea following his diplomatic engagement with the regime's leader, Kim Jong-un.
Trump returned this week from a visit to South Korea, where he held an impromptu meeting with Kim on the inter-Korean border and agreed to restart negotiations on the dismantlement of North Korea's nuclear weapons program.
The US president, who has now met three times with Kim, has often touted North Korea's suspension of nuclear and missile tests as his major foreign policy achievement.
US President Donald Trump returns waves after arriving in Morristown, New Jersey, US, on Friday. (Reuters)
"You were going to end up in a war with North Korea, as sure as you're standing there," Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to the tensions under former President Barack Obama.
"And now the relationship is a good relationship. We'll see what happens. But as sure as you're there, you were going to end up in a war with North Korea," he said.
Trump noted that the North released American detainees and returned the remains of some US troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.
"A lot of good things are happening, and there's been no nuclear testing," he said. "During President Obama they were nuclear testing, they were sending missiles. Right now, everything's nice and quiet."
Trump claimed that Obama, also wanting to meet with Kim, called the North Korean leader on "numerous occasions," but was rejected.
"And right now we have a very nice relationship. We've done a lot," he said.