Russian President Vladimir Putin attends his New Year address to Russians in central Moscow on December 31, 2017. Alexy Nikolsky/AFP/GETTY

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Thursday saying that the leader had beaten President Donald Trump in a round of diplomatic maneuvering.

“I believe, Mr. Kim Jong-un has certainly won this round,” said Putin to journalists according to Reuters. “He is already an absolutely shrewd and mature politician.”

Last year was marked by terse back and forth between Trump and North Korea, both parties threatening to destroy each other as Pyongyang showcased its rapidly advancing missile program through a number of ballistic missile tests. North Korea tested an intercontinental ballistic missile that demonstrated the theoretical range of hitting anywhere in the U.S. In September, North Korea tested its sixth and largest nuclear weapon.

“He has completed his strategic task: he has a nuclear weapon, he has missiles of global reach, up to [8,000 miles] which can reach almost any point of the globe,” said Putin.

North Korea’s largest trading partners China and Russia in the past had resisted United Nations sanctions against Pyongyang, but last year both countries agreed to stiff economic penalties against North Korea for it aggressive weapons testing.

Earlier this week North Korean and South Korea engaged in public diplomatic meetings for the first time in almost two years after Kim had suggested he was interested in sending athletes to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February. After the successful talks, North Korea plans to send a delegation Pyeongchang.

Trump has taken to using the insult “Little Rocket Man,” when referring to Kim and has threatened to destroy the country on several occasions. Kim, in turn, has called Trump a “dotard” an insult for a senile older person. Trump is Kim’s senior by 37 years.

On Thursday, North Korean state newspaper Rodong Sinmun praised the book “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” by author Michael Wolff in a commentary. The book, released Friday, questions Trump’s fitness to be president and its massive sales showed the “rapidly surging anti-Trump sentiments in the international community,” according to the paper.