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|POTUS Donald Trump Agrees To Meet North Korea Leader Kim Jong Un by zykson(m): 2:44am On Mar 09|
Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, to hold an unprecedented summit meeting to discuss the future of the embattled regime’s nuclear and missile programme.
In a stunning development following months of tension and mutual sabre-rattling, senior South Korean officials appeared outside the White House to announce the news, having hand-carried Kim’s invitation to Washington. They said that Trump had declared himself ready to meet Kim “by May”. If the meeting takes place it would be the first ever between leaders of the two countries.
Trump himself confirmed the meeting in a tweet, adding that US sanctions against North Korea would remain in place until a deal on denuclearisation was achieved.
The development was announced by South Korean national security director Chung Eui-yong, who was flanked by intelligence chief Suh Hoon and Cho Yoon-je, South Korea’s ambassador to US.
The invitation to talks, Chung said, was accompanied by an offer to suspend North Korean missile and nuclear tests while talks are underway, the condition that US officials have laid down for the start of any substantive talks.
The White House confirmed the news in a statement later, saying: “President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon. He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearisation of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”
The delegation of senior South Korean officials had met the North Korean leader in Pyongyang on Monday, and flown to Washington to brief the White House on Thursday. Announcing the delivery of the invitation in a hastily arranged press statement outside the White House, Chung praised Trump’s “leadership” and his policy of “maximum pressure”.
“I told President Trump that in our meeting, the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, said he is committed to denuclearisation,” Chung said. “Kim Jong-un pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. He understands the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.”
He added that the North Korean leader had “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible”.
“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation.”
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