Trump, Kim Jong-un to meet by May; North Korean leader expressed 'eagerness'

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un visits Mount Paektu in this photo released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) in Pyongyang December 9, 2017. KCNA/via Reuters

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet in May, according to South Korea's top security adviser. North Korea's commitment to stop nuclear and missile testing has also been announced at the White House.

Chung Eui-yong, the South Korean national security adviser, said that Kim had expressed eagerness to meet the POTUS at the soonest time possible. The briefing was something that Trump appreciated.

Chung clarified that until it matched words with concrete action, pressure would continue toward North Korea. Trump said on Thursday that South Korea would be making a "major announcement" on North Korea but provided no further details. The US leader had spoken to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump had agreed to the meeting. She said the POTUS will accept the invitation to meet with Kim at a place and time to be determined. “In the meantime all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain,” she tweeted.

The North had stated that there was "no reason" to hold on to its nuclear weapons "if military threats towards the North are cleared and the security of its regime is guaranteed,” according to an announcement by South Korea. Chung, who had been to a meeting in Pyongyang with Kim, said that North Korea is open to "frank" talks with the US on denuclearisation and would suspend missile and nuclear tests while dialogue is underway. Trump described the offer as "very positive.”

Seoul has also publicised that Kim offered talks on denuclearisation and normalising ties. Such talk is seen as a potential diplomatic opening following a year of escalating tensions over North Korea’s nuclear and missile tests. A senior administration official earlier declared that the announcement would be made by Chung at the White House.

A 10-member South Korean delegation went to North Korea earlier this week. They sought to encourage the United States and North Korea to talk to each other. South Korean officials briefed senior White House aides, including national security adviser HR McMaster, on their talks with North Korea this week, SBS reports.

US Vice President Mike Pence maintained that the US position towards North Korea would not change "until we see credible, verifiable, and concrete steps toward denuclearisation.” Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, on the other hand, told Congress he was "quite sceptical.”

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