The announcement sent shares in South Korean manufacturers of test kits for the virus increase. The news underscores the diverging paths the two nations have wet through since both discovered their first novel coronavirus cases on the same day.
The action taken by Trump was a blunt counterpoint to President Donald Trump's report that domestic response is enough to tackle the crisis.
Seoul's Blue House released a statement about a Tuesday call between Trump and President Moon Jae-In highlighting the pandemic.
According to President Moon, South Korea will provide "maximum support" if it is available.
South Korea has earlier been praised for its rapid and successful response to the coronavirus outbreak, noteworthy for its rapid mass testing.
The U.S. government has been turning to its allies for aid in obtaining medical equipment to overcome critical shortages.
In his public rhetoric, Trump has been highlighting the domestic private sector response to the crisis. "We should never be reliant on a foreign country for the means of our own survival," Trump said at a White House briefing on Tuesday evening. "America will never be a supplicant nation."
The 23-minute phone call included Trump telling President Moon Jae-in that would help Korean producers acquire approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for their medical supplies.
South Korea has been lauded for mitigating the spread of COVID-19 with relatively little disruption and merely 125 deaths and has tallied the number of new infections per day to below 100 for the past 13 consecutive days.
The Trump administration has been in talks with European and Asian partners to obtain supplies of testing kits and other medical supplies that are in dire short supply in the U.S.
The official White House account has yet to acknowledge Trump's request to Moon but according to the South Korean presidency, the Blue House, the call was made at Trump's "urgent request."
Upon the outbreak, South Korea implemented widespread testing within days, swiftly launching a stern program to self-quarantine confirmed cases and track their contacts.
The U.S. did little testing initially and has imposed a lockdown on parts of the country, with fast-increasing outbreaks in several states and thousands of new cases daily.
CNN reports that the State Department sent U.S. ambassadors in eastern Europe and Eurasia to ask their hosts to "ramp up exports and production of life-saving medical equipment and protective gear for the United States."
A senior State Department official said Tuesday that they have implored help to missions. They "have asked missions to determine whether certain countries may have excess capacity, the ability to manufacture supplies."
Moon told Trump that their support may require approval from the FDA. Trump responded that he would look into the approval within the day.