“In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
Thursday, the South Korean national security adviser said Trump agreed to meet Kim Jong-un. Friday, the White House confirmed the upcoming meeting.
President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the White House announced, setting the scene for an unprecedented encounter between two nations that only recently threatened to wipe each other out.
The talks would be the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader and will take place by May, according to South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, who delivered the invitation to Trump after a visit by his delegation to Pyongyang earlier this week. Chung said Kim had offered to put Pyongyang’s nuclear and missile program on the table.
The White House said Trump had agreed to the encounter. “He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined,” said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
Trump’s decision, after a year in which the two have repeatedly traded insults, is a remarkable breakthrough. It brings the North Korean regime close to its long-desired aim of recognition on the international stage, and offers Trump the tantalizing prospect of a historic diplomatic victory. But the consequences of such a high-stakes gamble remain hard to predict.
The South Korean delegation, which landed in Washington, D.C. for a debriefing Thursday on the North-South talks, was careful to praise Trump’s influence over the developments. Chung said the US President’s “leadership” and his administration’s pressure on the North Korean regime had “brought us to this juncture.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump “greatly appreciates the nice words” of the delegation and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
“He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
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