Trump 'would be honored' to meet with Kim Jong Un, defends Duterte White House invitation

Trump made the comment as tensions with North Korea rise over missile tests.

Trump spoke to Bloomberg on Monday, saying, "If it would be appropriate for me to meet with him [Kim], I would, absolutely. I would be honored to do it."

"Most political people would never say that," he continued, "but I'm telling you, under the right circumstances, I would meet with him. We have breaking news."

Thae Yong Ho, a diplomat who defected from North Korea last year, told CNN in January that Kim would likely be interested in such a meeting with Trump as "a good opportunity for him to open a kind of compromise with the new American administration." But since that time, North Korean missile tests have escalated the rhetoric between the leadership of the two countries.

"I don't see this happening anytime soon," he said later in the briefing.

He defended Trump's use of the word "honored" after ABC News' Jonathan Karl noted that Kim was "somebody who has starved his own people."

Spicer responded, "He is still the head of state. So there's a diplomatic piece to this. The bottom line is the president is going to do what he has to do."

On Friday, North Korea conducted a missile test for at least the sixth time in 2017. After the launch, which saw a KN-17 missile travel 21 miles before a midair breakup, Trump tweeted that the country "disrespected the wishes of China."

"Bad!" he wrote.

The Philippines' crackdown on drugs has led to the deaths of at least 2,800 people at the hands of police. Duterte has compared the crusade to the Holocaust and said he would be "happy to slaughter" as many as 3 million drug addicts.

Duterte has not yet accepted Trump's offer and reportedly told journalists Monday that he may be too busy to travel to Washington.

"I'm tied up. I cannot make any definite promise ... I'm supposed to go to Russia, supposed to go to Israel," Duterte said, according to local reports.