Flashpoints

South Korean Envoy: Trump Accepts North Korea’s Invitation to Meet Kim Jong-un

The meeting, if it happens, will be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Ankit Panda
South Korean Envoy: Trump Accepts North Korea’s Invitation to Meet Kim Jong-un
Credit: YouTube screen capture

On Thursday evening, South Korean National Security Adviser Chun Eui-yong announced that U.S. President Donald J. Trump had accepted an invitation from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet as soon as possible.

Chun, who was making the announcement on behalf of the U.S. administration with no U.S. officials by his side, said that Trump would endeavor to meet Kim by May 2018 to “achieve denuclearization.”

In addition to his announcement on behalf of the White House, Chun reiterated the major understandings that emerged from his trip, along with South Korean spy chief Suh Hoon, to Pyongyang earlier this week.

Chun emphasized that Kim Jong-un had agreed to discuss denuclearization with the United States and sought a meeting with Trump and that he would agree to freeze ballistic missile and nuclear weapons testing for the duration of talks.

The South Korean national security adviser also read out the results of his meeting with the U.S. president on Thursday evening.

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“I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture,” Chung said.

No sitting U.S. president has met a North Korean leader. Former U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter have visited the country, but after their terms ended.