After South Korea’s national security announced from the White House Thursday evening that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is “committed to denuclearization” and wanted to meet with President Donald Trump, the White House confirmed Thursday night that Trump had accepted the invitation.
“He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement.
Trump himself also confirmed that the meeting was “being planned” in a tweet. He said that Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with South Korean officials and indicated that North Korea will stop testing missiles.
Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 9, 2018
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson emphasized Friday morning that Trump and Kim will meet for “talks,” not “negotiations.”
Tillerson told reporters in Djibouti that they saw a shift with North Korea when South Korean officials visited Pyongyang, according to the Associated Press. Tillerson said that South Korea’s message to the White House about talks with North Korea was the “most forward-leaning” message from Kim Jong Un they have seen.
“What changed was his posture in a fairly dramatic way,” Tillerson said, per the AP. “In all honesty, that came as a little bit of a surprise to us as well.”