WASHINGTON— President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un “by May” in an attempt to achieve a denuclearized North Korea, according to South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong.
Chung, who had met with Kim as the head of the South Korean delegation this week, said that the North Korean leader has pledged to refrain from any ballistic or nuclear missile tests and understands that joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea must continue in the region.
“[Kim] expressed his eagerness to meet president Trump as soon as possible,” Chung told reporters outside the White House.
Chung added that South Korea, U.S., Japan and allies remain committed to North Korea’s denuclearization.
“Along with President Trump, we are optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution,” Chung said. “The pressure will continue until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions.”
Chung would not say where the meeting would take place or if Trump has agreed to any preconditions.
On Tuesday, Trump demurred when asked during a joint press conference with Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven what conditions would need to be met before meeting with Kim.
“We’re going to see happens,” Trump said. “I don’t want to talk about it. We’re going to see what happens.”
White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Thursday night that Trump has accepted the invitation.
“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,” Sanders said. “We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain.”