Kim meeting only after 'concrete actions' from N Korea: WH

The White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said Trump "will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un at a place and time to be determined". "This meeting won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea".

South Korea's national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, said at the White House on Thursday that Trump had agreed to "meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization". They say Kim is feeling more confident than ever, that he completed his nuclear program in November and wants to deal with United States on an equal footing. In 1994, North Korea agreed to suspend nuclear development in exchange for light-water reactors from the U.S. And in the six-party talks of the 2000s, the North agreed to give up nuclear weapons in exchange for an American pledge not to attack or invade.

"We have to see concrete and verifiable actions take place", she added, without giving many details about what specific steps that would entail.

Trump and Kim prompted jitters around the world in 2017 when they exchanged insults over North Korea's attempts to develop nuclear weapon capable of hitting the USA, which it pursued in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions. They have recognised that regular military exercises between the United States and its ally, South Korea, will continue. "The Administration must go into any meeting with a plan to ensure that negotiations with Kim Jong-un produce real results, not a photo op that lends legitimacy to North Korea's murderous regime".

Nearly a half-hour after that news broke, the White House weighed in with a statement from Sanders confirming that Trump had indeed accepted the invitation and the two leaders would meet "at a place and time to be determined".

Haines said the optics of a failed meeting could prove disastrous. "We know that it has put a tremendous amount of pressure on North Korea", she said. "I have no problem talking to them, but I would say ramp up the pressure until they actually, verifiably denuclearize", Johnson said.

Asked if Trump (l.) believes Kim (r.) is honest about scaling back the country's nuclear and missile programs, Sanders said he is "hopeful".

"I think he's got a lot of things in mind he would like to accomplish", said CBN Chief International Correspondent Gary Lane.

Carter met with Kim Il Sung, North Korea's founder, in 1994, more than a decade after leaving office.

In a statement published in the South Korean news agency Yonhap, Moon declared, "The denuclearisation and peace of the Korean Peninsula is becoming a reality".

Trump tweeted: "great progress is being made". "He was elected on a platform of making nice to Kim Jong Un and ultimately what he would like to see happen is reunification".

  • Leroy Wright