In a stunning development in relations between the United States and North Korea, US President Donald Trump has accepted an invitation from North Korean President Kim Jong-un for a meeting to discuss the future of relations between the two countries, and North Korea’s nuclear programme, according to the White House.
The White House statement said that the unprecedented meeting would take place within the next few months at a location yet to be determined.
Republic of Korea National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said, after his visit to the White House on Thursday, that the meeting between the two leaders would be held in May, to discuss removing nuclear arms from the Korean peninsula.
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said, at a news briefing, that Trump “will not have the meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea, so the president will actually be getting something.”
In his statement, Chung said, “the Republic of Korea, the United States, and our partners stand together in insisting that we not repeat the mistakes of the past.”
Trump welcomed the invitation, tweeting, “Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time.”
But Trump also stressed that, despite the “great progress,” “sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached” between North Korea and its rivals.
The announcement of the expected meeting comes a few weeks after progress was made in relations between North Korea and South Korea following the Winter Olympic Games, which were held last month in Seoul.
Another summit is set to be held between North and South Korean leaders in April.
North Korea is under international sanctions over its nuclear threat to its neighbouring countries, South Korea and Japan.