South Korea: Pres. Trump to meet North Korean leader Kim by May

People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, meeting with South Korean National Security Director Chung Eui-yong in Pyongyang, North Korea, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Wednesday, March 7, 2018. After years of refusal, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the fate of his atomic arsenal with the United States and has expressed a readiness to suspend nuclear and missile tests during such talks, a senior South Korean official said Tuesday. Korean characters seen on the screen read: "South Korea-U.S. joint military drills." (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has accepted an offer of a summit from the North Korean leader and will meet with Kim Jong Un by May, a top South Korean official said Thursday, in a remarkable turnaround in relations between two historic adversaries.

The South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, told reporters of the planned meeting outside the White House, after briefing Trump and other top U.S. officials about a rare meeting with Kim in the North Korean capital on Monday.

“He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” Chung said. “President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement after a South Korean official broke the stunning news. Sanders says Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with” Kim.

She also says Trump “greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation” and President Moon Jae-in.

She adds that the U.S. looks “forward to the denuclearization of North Korea,” but says all sanctions will remain in place in the meantime.

Seoul has already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North’s nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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