"I have relationships with people".
No sitting US president is known to have spoken with a North Korean leader.
In recent days, in a series of media leaks, USA officials have spoken of the president's willingness to consider a limited preemptive strike on North Korea to change Kim's mindset, despite the risk of touching off a war. "I just don't want to comment". Recently, he mocked Kim's New Year's address, in which the young despot said he had installed a nuclear button on his desk to order a strike against the U.S. "I think you people are surprised".
The White House and the Pentagon did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Trump's relationship with Kim has been primarily distinguished by escalating barbs and insults. The two nations have remained in a state of war and without diplomatic relations since the Korean War ended in 1953 without a peace treaty.
Trump told the newspaper a decision by the United States and South Korea to postpone military exercises until after next month's Winter Olympics in South Korea "sends a good message to North Korea".
Trump and Kim have traded bellicose rhetoric and crude insults over the a year ago, as North Korea has accelerated weapons tests and appears on the cusp of having a nuclear-tipped missile that could strike the US mainland.
Trump said the stop-and-go nature to his strategy with North Korea is intentional and part of a broader goal. "A lot of good energy", Trump said at the news conference. Later, he said that attempts to talk to Kim is a waste of time, but now he is saying that he would be willing to chat with the North Korean leader on the phone.