President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, South Korea’s National Security Advisor Chung Eiu-Yong announced after he met with Mr. Trump at the White House. Mr. Chung praised President Trump’s “leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity” for making such a meeting possible. It would be the first face-to-face meeting between a U.S. President and a North Korean leader.
Mr. Chung led a delegation from South Korea which met with Kim Jong-un earlier this month in Pyongyang. He told reporters that the North Korean leader claimed he was committed to denuclearization and pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests. He also said that Kim understands that routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue.
“North Korea’s desire to meet to discuss denuclearization – while suspending all ballistic missile and nuclear testing – is evidence that President Trump’s strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working,” said Vice President Mike Pence in a written statement. “The North Koreans are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions and, in close coordination with our allies, we have consistently increased the pressure on the Kim regime. Our resolve is undeterred and our policy remains the same,” Mr. Pence declared. “All sanctions remain in place and the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear program.”
The time and place of a meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong-un have yet to be determined. At a press briefing, White House Spokesman Sarah Sanders emphasized that President Trump will not go forward with a meeting without seeing concrete steps and concrete actions take place by North Korea. She noted, however, “If we can get to a place where North Korea is denuclearizing, that is a massive step, and it's something that will make the entire globe much safer.”