South Korea’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong (pictured above), said from the White House lawn Thursday that he had delivered a message to President Donald Trump, from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un: Kim, Chung said, was “committed to denuclearization” and would like to meet the President.
Trump, Chung said after meeting with him, had agreed to meet Kim “by May.”
“I told President Trump that in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he’s committed to denuclearization,” Chung said. “Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”
Chung continued: “He understands that the routine joint military exercises between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue. And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.”
“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”
The announcement came shortly after Trump popped his head into the White House briefing room Thursday afternoon to announce Chung’s impending statement. The Associated Press noted it was the President’s first time in the briefing room and reported the announcement came “after hours of consultations at the White House between U.S. and South Korean officials over recent inter-Korean talks.
Chung separately acknowledged that Trump’s “leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture.”
“I expressed President Moon Jae-in’s personal gratitude for President Trump’s leadership,” he said separately, referring to South Korea’s leader.
A South Korean envoys led by Chung met with Kim earlier this month, the first time South Korean officials had met with the North Korean leader since he took power six years ago.