MOSCOW

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday praised North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un as a "mature politician" with a formidable arsenal, but also urged him to defuse international tensions over Pyongyang's controversial nuclear programme.

Kim, 34, has been locked in an increasingly bitter standoff with US President Donald Trump, with the pair trading threats of war and personal insults.

However, there have been signs of a potential cooling after Pyongyang this month unexpectedly restored dialogue with Seoul two years after relations broke down.

"I believe Mr Kim Jong-Un has won this round," Putin told Russian journalists on Thursday.

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