- US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to meet by May
- Trump has accepted Pyongyang's invitation to hold a summit
- The two leaders will discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula
- Sanctions imposed on Pyongyang will stay for now
After a series of verbal tussles, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US president Donald Trump have agreed to meet and discuss denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Trump has reportedly accepted Jong un's invitation to hold a summit and talk about the reclusive nation's nuclear programme.
Pleased with the move, Trump took to Twitter and said that a lot of progress has been made in the last few weeks, but the sanctions imposed on Pyongyang will stay until a definitive decision is made by the two nations.
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
The development came after South Korean national security director Chung Eui-yong, intelligence chief Suh Hoon and South Korea's ambassador to the US and Cho Yoon-je visited the White House and spoke about their meeting with Jong-un.
"I told President Trump that at our meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he's committed to denuclearization," the Agence France-Presse quoted Eui-yong as saying. "He understands that the routine joint military exercise between the Republic of Korea and the United States must continue and he expressed his eagerness to meet president Trump as soon as possible."
The South Korean national security director also said that Trump was happy with the outcome and that the US president would meet Jong-un "by the end of May."
A thaw in the horizon?
Trump and Jong-un have often taken digs at each other, especially when it comes to Pyongyang's nuclear programme.
Addressing the country on New Year's Day, Jong-un had said that the US would never go to war with the nation as North Korea is capable of destroying it with its nuclear weapons. "The entire United States is within range of our nuclear weapons, and a nuclear button is always on my desk. This is reality, not a threat," Reuters quoted him as saying.
After his address, Trump had mocked the North Korean leader and said that US' button "is much bigger and powerful" than what North Korea claims to have.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un just stated that the “Nuclear Button is on his desk at all times.” Will someone from his depleted and food starved regime please inform him that I too have a Nuclear Button, but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 3, 2018
After all the heated exchange and the missile tests, the United Nations and the US had imposed several sanctions on Pyongyang. The UNSC had put a ban on textile exports and has also restricted the shipment of oil products.