Donald Trump thanks Russia's Vladimir Putin for praising American economy

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Vladimir Putin has revealed he and Donald Trump are on first name terms, as the Russian President spoke to the media during his four-hour, end-of-year news conference.

Putin had applauded Trump and his handling of the United States economy at an annual end-of-year press conference that was broadcast on Russian national television Thursday, saying, "Look at the markets, how they've risen. There are a lot of nations that agree with us - nearly everybody", Trump said. If true, that would contradict Trump's assertion that China is "helping" with the situation.

In a lengthy piece based on interviews with more than 50 current and former United States officials, The Washington Post revealed tensions at the very top of the administration over Russian Federation.

Tillerson later in remarks to the United Nations Security Council in NY said the United States is calling on Russian Federation and China to go beyond sanctions already imposed by the council and cut off all oil shipments as well as end guest worker programs for thousands of North Korean workers. In July, North Korea test-fired two ballistic missiles.

Poland's defence minister has said that Russian Federation was responsible for a plane crash that killed the Polish president in 2010.

Russia's UN Ambassador Vasily Nebenzya shot back, saying North Korean workers are in Russian Federation as part of a bilateral agreement "which guarantees their rights", and they are not subject to slave-like conditions.

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Trump, though, has continued to view Putin as a potential ally, particularly when it comes to dealing with North Korea. The phone conversation came after a request from the USA, the Kremlin said in an emailed statement. "Acute issues of bilateral relations, as well as the situation in crisis hotspots worldwide were discussed, with an emphasis placed on settling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue", the press service said in a statement.

Both sides should stop escalating the situation, so we heard from the USA that they would stop military drills [with South Korea]. Tillerson suggested there would be no nuclear-related preconditions to talks with North Korea, but the White House swiftly rebuked his claim.

"We would love to have [Putin's] help on North Korea", said Trump.

On September 3, North Korea carried out a successful hydrogen bomb test. "The pressure campaign must and will continue until denuclearization is achieved".

The Security Council has ratcheted up sanctions on North Korea over its weapons programs since 2006.

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