The American billionaire's intentions would mark a notable shift on Washington's approach to North Korea. Trump has also called for renegotiating the Paris climate accord and scrapping post-2008 financial regulations.
US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday told Reuters news agency in an exclusive interview that he is willing to hold direct discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"I would speak to him. I would have no problem speaking to him," Trump said. "I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China … China can solve that problem with one meeting or one phone call," the American billionaire added.
Trump's intentions if elected president would mark a seismic shift in American foreign policy towards North Korea.
No sitting US president has met with the leader of the communist nation. However, former President Bill Clinton met with the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in 2009 in what the White House described as a "solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans" charged with illegal entry.
In 2013, Trump denied that he was interested in visiting North Korea with US basketball player Dennis Rodman.
"Crazy Dennis Rodman is saying I wanted to go to North Korea with him. Never discussed, no interest, last place on Earth I want to go," he said in a tweet.
'Makes no sense'
Meanwhile, Jake Sullivan, campaign adviser to Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, criticized Trump's comments, saying the billionaire's approach to foreign policy "makes no sense for the rest of us."
"Donald Trump insults the leader of our closest ally, then turns around and says he'd love to talk to Kim Jong Un?" Sullivan said.
"I suppose that makes sense for him, since he also praised Kim Jong Un for executing his uncle and seems to have a bizarre fascination with foreign strongmen like Putin and Kim," Sullivan added.
During the Reuters interview, Trump also said he would renegotiate the Paris climate deal and dismantle the US Dodd- Frank financial regulations put in place after the 2008 financial crisis.
ls/ (Reuters, AP)