US President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong-un, following months of diplomatic standoff that saw the two leaders exchange fiery military threats and personal insults.
The meeting would be a first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader, offering a potential breakthrough in relations between the two adversaries.
Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security adviser, first made the announcement at the White House on Thursday evening, later confirmed by Trump in a social media post.
“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation,” Chung told reporters.
He said that the North Korean leader has expressed his “commitment to denuclearisation” and will “refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests” during the negotiations.
In a post on Twitter early on Friday, Trump wrote, “Meeting being planned!”
“Kim Jong-un talked about denuclearisation with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached,” Trump said.
The surprise announcement in Washington, DC, following an announcement by Chung on Tuesday that the North Korean leader had agreed to meet South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in in April.
In a statement published in the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moon declared, “The denuclearisation and peace of the Korean Peninsula is becoming a reality”.