History is being made as US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have agreed to meet by May, a South Korean envoy said on Thursday, Yonhap reports.
The location of the summit is not known, White house said, adding that sanctions against Pyongyang will remain in place and regular war drills with South will continue until an agreement is reached.
South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, told reporters at the White House that Kim wanted to meet Trump as “soon as possible”, and that the president had agreed to do so by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Kim said he is “committed to denuclearisation” and will “refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests,” said Chung, who led a five-member presidential delegation to a meeting the Korean leader in Pyongyang on Monday.
The announcement comes after a year of tensions and a war of words over North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
Trump tweeted: “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. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!”
The Koreans’ meeting was the first of its kind since Kim took power in late 2011. The two sides also agreed to hold their first summit in more than a decade in April.
Chung said he expressed to Trump South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s “personal gratitude” for his leadership on the North Korea issue.
The South Korean envoy reportedly delivered by hand a letter from Kim to Trump.
Trump’s leadership and his maximum pressure policy together with international solidarity brought things to this juncture, Chung said.
China too had played a key role in bringing North Korea to the negotiating table and Trump has acknowledged it. Beijing hailed the recent talks between Chung’s delegation and Kim in Pyongyang and urged both sides to seize the opportunity to bring lasting peace in the Korean Peninsula.