By Alex Kim | News Korea
A few days after Kim Jong Un reached out to the U.S. for a
peaceful dialogue, President Trump has accepted Kim’s invitation to a summit. Chung
Eui-yong, the top national security advisor of South Korea, announced the
meeting on Thursday.
On Monday, in an unprecedented meeting with South Korean
envoys, Kim expressed his willingness to get rid of all nuclear weapons and that
he is open to dialogue with the U.S. to advance peaceful relations.
Chung made the announcement outside of the West Wing at the
White House, “He [Kim] expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon
as possible.” Chung added, “President Trump appreciated the briefing and said
he would meet Kim Jong Un, by May, to achieve permanent denuclearization.”
The place and time for the summit are still to be determined
and a plan for the meeting is currently in progress according to White House. “We
look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea,” said White House press
secretary Sarah Sanders, “in the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure
President Trump has also expressed openness to meeting Kim in
the past. According to a report by The AP in January, Trump made a statement
that he “believes in talking and that he would not have any problem with it.” Trump
said, “If something can happen and something can come out of those talks, that
would be a great thing for all of humanity. That would be a great thing for the
The recent announcement of the summit may come as a surprise
to many people given the contention between the two leaders; the string of publicized
threats and ad-hominem attacks has continued only until 17 days ago.
Trump took the announcement on Twitter on Thursday
and said, “Great progress [is] being made.”
The face-to-face encounter between the two leaders,
if it proceeds, will be recorded as a historical moment as it would be the
first time a sitting president to sit across from a North Korean leader.