US President Donald Trump said he would be willing to speak directly with Kim Jong-un, voicing hope that rare talks between North and South Korea could help de-escalate the crisis over Pyongyang's nuclear drive.
"I always believe in talking. Absolutely I would do that, no problem with that at all," Trump said at the Camp David presidential retreat when asked if he would speak to Kim by phone while making clear this did not mean he would do so without preconditions.
North and South Korea have agreed to hold their first official talks in more than
two years, and Trump expressed hopes that they would go beyond discussions of Pyongyang's participation in the upcoming Winter Olympics in the South.
He added that if something could come out of the talks, "that would be a great thing for all of humanity."
Earlier Mr. Trump dismissed Mr. Kim's taunt that the North Korean leader has a nuclear button on his desk, saying he has a bigger button.
"If I weren't involved, they wouldn't be talking about the Olympics right now, they'd be doing no talking," Trump said.
Also in recent days, the US and South Korea agreed to delay their joint military exercises until after the Games, apparently to help ease nerves.