US President Donald Trump stated on Saturday that he was open to holding dialogue with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
He also hoped that some good can come from upcoming talks between the Koreas.
Trump tells reporters at Camp David that he "always believes in talking."
North and South Korea have agreed to discuss cooperation on the upcoming Olympics in South Korea, as well as other issues, in rare talks set to begin Tuesday.
Trump calls that "a big start." He added if "something can come out of those talks that would be a great thing for all of humanity."
He said Kim — who's threatened the US with a nuclear attack — "knows I'm not messing around, not even a little bit, not even 1 percent."
North Korea agreed on Friday to hold official talks with South Korea next week, the first in more than two years, hours after Washington and Seoul delayed a military exercise amid a standoff over Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile programs.
US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told US media it was too early to tell if the inter-Korea meeting could open the way for future talks involving the United States, but he stressed that if such talks came about they would have to be aimed at North Korean denuclearization.
Seoul and Pyongyang are expected to discuss the Winter Olympics, to be held in South Korea next month, and inter-Korean relations, South Korean Unification Ministry spokesman Baik Tae-hyun told reporters.
North Korea asked for further negotiations about the meeting to be carried out via documented exchanges, Baik said.
Kim opened the way for talks with South Korea in a New Year’s Day speech in which he called for reduced tensions and flagged the North’s possible participation in the Winter Olympics.
But Kim remained steadfast on the issue of nuclear weapons, saying the North would mass-produce nuclear missiles for operational deployment and warned he would launch a nuclear strike if his country was threatened.