History in the making: U.S. president to meet North Korean leader

Asia Times Online reports: “US President Donald Trump agreed on Thursday evening, Washington-time, to meet North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un by the end of May.

The agreement – an historic one – was made following a briefing to Trump, and was itself followed by a speech delivered on the White House grounds by South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong, who earlier this week met Kim in Pyongyang.

During his briefing of Trump, Chung quoted the North’s leader as saying, ‘I will be able to produce a big outcome if I meet and talk to President Donald Trump,’ Yonhap reports.

Unusually, the South Koreans – who are playing the role of intermediary between Pyongyang and Washington – did the talking, with the normally effusive Trump remaining in the background. However, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed that Trump would ‘accept the invitation to meet with’ Kim, but that sanctions would remain in place. The exact timing has not yet been announced, but the meeting will take place by the end of May.

Meanwhile, Kim has – according to the South Koreans – agreed to freeze all missile and nuclear tests.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, via his spokesperson, hailed the upcoming meeting as ‘a historic milestone.’ Even allowing for the hyperbole common to diplomacy, the agreement to meet is, indeed, a landmark one…”

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