US President Donald Trump says he would be “honoured” to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in the right circumstances.
“If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him, I would – absolutely. I would be honoured to do it,” he told news organisation Bloomberg on Monday.
On Saturday he described Kim as a “pretty smart cookie”.
The comments come amid escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear ambition.
The White House then issued a statement, saying North Korea would need to meet many conditions before any meeting between the two leaders could take place.
Spokesman Sean Spicer said Washington wanted to see the North end its provocative behaviour immediately.
“Clearly conditions are not there right now,” he added.
In Sunday’s interview with CBS, President Trump noted Mr Kim had assumed power at a young age, despite dealing with “some very tough people”.
He said he had “no idea” whether Kim was sane.
The North Korean leader had his uncle executed two years after he came to power, and is suspected of ordering the recent killing of his half-brother.
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