Trump calls Kim Jong Un 'very honorable'

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Republican threatens to push for Rosenstein impeachment unless he testifies Judge suggests Trump’s tweet about Stormy Daniels was ‘hyperbole’ not defamation Rosenstein faces Trump showdown MORE on Tuesday called North Korea's leader a "very honorable" person and expressed hope their meeting will occur "as soon as possible."

“He really has been very open and, I think, very honorable from everything we're seeing," Trump said of Kim Jong Un during a meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron at the White House. 

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The president expressed high hopes for his meeting with the rogue leader, which could happen as soon as next month.

"So we're having very good discussions," he said. "Now, a lot of promises have been made by North Korea over the years, but they've never been in this position."

Trump's rhetoric on Kim has shifted significantly from last year, when he called the North Korean leader "Little Rocket Man" and boasted about the size of his nuclear button. 

The tone was striking coming from any U.S. president.

The U.S. has blamed North Korea for ordering the execution of Kim's brother with a banned nerve agent. The reclusive government has faced persistent criticism from human-rights groups that say it starves its own citizens. 

Despite his high hopes for their planned nuclear summit, Trump reiterated he would walk away if the talks are not productive. 

"Unlike past administrations, I will leave the table. But I think we have the chance to do something very special," he said.

The president has broken with his predecessors in seeking to negotiate with North Korea to try and end its nuclear program.

Past presidents have shied away, in large part because they viewed the North Koreans as untrustworthy partners.

Updated at 3:47 p.m.