South Korea's National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong, center, and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, (L), make an announcement about North Korea and the Trump administration at the White House on March 8, 2018. Photograph:( Reuters )
US President Donald Trump has agreed to meet North Korea's Kim Jong-un by May in response to Kim's invitation to hold the first meeting between leaders of the United States and North Korea, a South Korean envoy said.
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!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018
Kim has committed to "denuclearization" and to suspending nuclear or missile tests, South Korea's National Security Office head Chung Eui- yong told reporters at the White House after briefing Trump on South Korean officials' meeting with Kim on Monday.
A meeting between Kim and Trump, who have exchanged bellicose insults in the past year that have raised fear of war, would mark a dramatic breakthrough in efforts to resolve the tense standoff over North Korea's effort to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
"I told him (Trump) that in our meeting that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said that he's committed to denuclearization," Chung said. "Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests," news agency Reuters reported.
"He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible," he said. "President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve denuclearization."
Trump hailed the progress being made but said that sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached.
''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!,'' Trump tweeted immediately after Eui- yong made an announcement regarding the meeting.
Trump's aides have been wary of North Korea's diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments.
The announcement came after a South Korean delegation held unprecedented talks with Kim earlier this week.
Ties between the two Koreas have improved since their joint participation in the Winter Olympics.
This breaking news story is being updated and more details will be published shortly. Please refresh the page for the fullest version.