South Korean Official: Trump To Meet With Kim Jong Un

Oliver Contreras/SIPA USA

Officials Say Trump Has Agreed To Meet With Kim Jong Un

March 08, 2018 - 7:25 pm

WASHINGTON (WCBS 880) -- A South Korean official announced in front of the White House Thursday that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “committed to denuclearization” and is eager to meet with President Donald Trump.

National security director Chung Eui-yong said Trump has also accepted the invitation and had agreed to meet with Kim by May.

“Kim Jong Un pledged that North Korea will refrain from any future nuclear or missile tests,” Chung said.

"(Kim) 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.”

Chung also said Kim understands that routine joint military exercises between the U.S. and South Korea must continue.

"I told President Trump that in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he's committed to denuclearization," Chung said in the brief statement. "He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."

In the statement, Chung thanked Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, and the national security team – and said Trump’s leadership, pressure policies, and “international solidarity” led to this point, CBS News reported.

Trump popped into the White House briefing room and teased the announcement before Chung took to the podium, CBS News reported. Trump said South Korea would be making a major announcement at 7 p.m. and said he had spoken with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, CBS News reported.

After Chung’s announcement, White House Press Secretary said Trump’s meeting with Kim would be held “at a place and time to be determined.”

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with” Kim and “greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation'' and President Moon, the Associated Press reported.

Sanders said the U.S. looks “forward to the denuclearization of North Korea.” But until that happens, she said, sanctions will remain in place.

U.S. Rep. Peter King (R-New York) called the North Korean agreement historic, though acknowledged the need for caution.

South Korea had announced Tuesday that North Korea had pledged to halt tests of nuclear weapons and missiles if the U.S. agreed to sit down for talks on denuclearization and normalizing relations.