Trump, Kim Jong Un Agree to Unprecedented Meeting

South Korean official says meeting will happen 'by May'
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 8, 2018 6:51 PM CST
In this Aug. 10, 2017 file photo, a man watches a television screen showing President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Train Station in Seoul, South Korea.   (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

(Newser) – In a startling development, North Korea says it will halt its nuclear weapons program and Kim Jong Un will meet with President Trump in the coming months, the Washington Post reports. "[Kim] expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Chung Eui-yong told reporters Thursday at the White House. “President Trump said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May.” The South Korean national security adviser was part of a delegation that arrived at the White House on Thursday to deliver a letter from Kim directly to Trump, according to CNN. Chung had led a delegation that met with Kim in Pyongyang on Tuesday, the Los Angeles Times reports. That meeting left South Korea feeling hopeful about a diplomatic solution to the ongoing nuclear crisis with North Korea.

There's no information about where the meeting between Trump and Kim will take place, but it will be the first face-to-face meeting between a sitting US president and the leader of North Korea. In fact, no sitting president has even held a phone call with the North Korean leader. Chung gave Trump credit for the breakthrough. “I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure strategy ... brought us to this juncture,” Chung said. But analysts are split on whether Kim is agreeing to halt his nuclear program and meet with Trump because sanctions are working and he fears a US attack or because he now sees the countries as equal nuclear powers. Kim will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in next month—only the third-ever meeting between the leaders of North and South Korea since 1953. (Read more North Korea stories.)

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