During a phone call Wednesday with South Korea President Moon Jae-in, President Trump "expressed his openness to holding talks between the United States and North Korea at the appropriate time, under the right circumstances," USA Today quotes the White House as saying in a statement. The White House didn't specify what those circumstances would be. The statement represents a continued shift in Trump's stance on talks with North Korea. In October, he said Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" trying to negotiate with North Korea. But on Saturday, Trump told reporters he would be open to talks, NPR reports. "I always believe in talking," he said. "But we have a very firm stance." Trump didn't specify any conditions for talks at that point either.
Trump's call with Moon came a day after South Korea and North Korea held talks on the upcoming Winter Olympics in South Korea, with the north agreeing to participate in the games. The White House says Moon "thanked President Trump for his influential leadership in making the talks possible" during their call Wednesday. Over the weekend, Trump said his "tough stance" might be the reason the two countries are talking. Tuesday's talk between the Koreas also included discussion of easing military tensions. CNN reports the South Korean government says Trump on Wednesday told Moon, "I hope you let them know that there will be absolutely no military action as long as inter-Korean talks are ongoing." (Read more North Korea stories.)