Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he is willing to talk to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to try to stop Pyongyang's nuclear programme, proposing a major shift in US policy toward the isolated nation.
The presumptive Republican nominee declined to share details of his plans to deal with North Korea, but said he was open to talking to its leader.
"I would speak to him, I would have no problem speaking to him," Trump said of Kim, in an interview to Reuters on Tuesday.
His comments led to some hilarious outburst on social media.
— Pitt Griffin (@pittgriffin) May 18, 2016
North Korea's mission to the United Nations did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Trump's remarks.
Trump, 69, also said he would press China, Pyongyang's only major diplomatic and economic supporter, to help find a solution.
"I would put a lot of pressure on China because economically we have tremendous power over China," he said in the interview in his office on the 26th floor of Trump Tower in Manhattan.
Trump's preparedness to talk directly with Kim contrasts with President Barack Obama's policy of relying on senior US officials to talk to senior North Korean officials.
Obama has not engaged personally with Kim, but he has pushed for new diplomatic overtures to Iran and Cuba that produced a nuclear deal with Tehran and improved ties with Havana.
On Russia, Trump tempered past praise of Putin, saying the nice comments the Russian leader has made about him in the past would only go so far.
"The fact that he said good things about me doesn't mean that it's going to help him in a negotiation. It won't help him at all," he said.
An adviser to Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential candidate, criticised Trump's foreign policy comments, noting they came soon after he made comments critical of British Prime Minister David Cameron.
"Let me get this straight: Donald Trump insults the leader of our closest ally, then turns around and says he'd love to talk to Kim Jong-un?" Clinton's senior foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, said in a statement.
Trump "seems to have a bizarre fascination with foreign strongmen like Putin and Kim. But his approach to foreign policy makes no sense for the rest of us," he said.