North Korea is willing to halt nuclear and missile tests, a top South Korean official has said. US President Donald Trump reportedly said he would meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un in May.
North Korea has offered to enter negotiations and halt nuclear and missile tests, South Korea’s national security director said in Washington after meeting with US President Donald Trump at the White House on Thursday.
Chung Eui-yong provided Trump with a direct message from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un offering direct talks with the US president.
Trump is willing to meet with Kim by May, Chung said.
The stunning announcement comes after Chung led a five-person delegation to Pyongyang on Monday to meet with the North Korean leader, as the two sides seek to de-escalate tensions on the Korean peninsula.
“He (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 in May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”
Seoul had already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.
Washington has long demanded North Korea freeze nuclear and missile tests as a precondition opening talks. Chung said Kim understood US-South Korea military exercises would continue.
North Korea has long demanded joint US-South Korean military exercises stop as a precondition to talks.