Trump says he’s open to talks with North Korea

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President Trump told South Korea’s leader on Wednesday he’s open to direct talks with North Korea over its nuclear program, according to the White House. 
“President Trump expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances,” the White House said in a statement detailing Trump’s phone call with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
At the same time, the leaders stressed “the importance of continuing the maximum pressure campaign against North Korea.”
{mosads}The conversation is the latest sign that Trump is slowly, and cautiously, warming up to talks with Pyongyang in order to resolve the nuclear crisis between the two countries. 
Trump on Saturday told reporters he would be open to speaking with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, albeit not without preconditions. 
“Sure. I always believe in talking,” the president told reporters at Camp David when asked if he would talk to Kim. “If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that would be a great thing for all of humanity.” 
But Trump added that Kim “knows I’m not messing around” and reiterated that the U.S. stance against North Korea’s nuclear ambitions is “very firm.”
The president has previously dismissed the notion that the nuclear standoff could be resolved through direct talks, even as top Cabinet officials stressed the need for diplomacy. 
“I told Rex Tillerson, our wonderful Secretary of State, that he is wasting his time trying to negotiate with Little Rocket Man,” Trump tweeted last October after Tillerson suggested the U.S. has a direct line to the North. “Save your energy Rex, we’ll do what has to be done!”
Trump’s latest comments come at a time when Pyongyang and Seoul have attempted to ease tensions through direct negotiations. 
Officials from the two Koreas recently met for their highest-level talks in two years, and the North agreed to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics next month in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
The two sides also agreed to hold negotiations to reduce tensions along the border.
The South Korean government said in a statement that Trump promised there would be no military action while the talks are ongoing. 
The White House statement did not include any such assurance, though both sides praised the talks.
Trump also confirmed that Vice President Pence would lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics. 
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