South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said the isolated communist country is "committed" to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The meeting is set for May, reports CBS News.
South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong: “President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization” https://t.co/wKfNDWhohw pic.twitter.com/bMh0rOBSrU— CNN (@CNN) March 9, 2018
Chung told reporters outside the White House that Kim "expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible," adding, "President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization."
Chung also said Kim agreed to stop nuclear testing and the military exercises between the North and South will continue.
"I told President Trump that in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he's committed to denuclearization," Chung said. "He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."
The surprise announcement came after Trump surprisingly appeared in the White House briefing room before the White House press corp to tell them that South Korean officials will be making an announcement. Trump has never held a press conference in the room, so his appearance made it clear how important the announcement would be.
"You should be there," Trump told ABC News correspondent Jonathan Karl. When asked if the announcement was about talks with North Korea, Trump said, "It's almost beyond that. Hopefully, you will give me credit."
Earlier Thursday, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson teased possible positive news on North Korea during a press conference in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
“I think as President Trump has indicated, there are potentially positive signals coming from North Korea by way of their intra-Korean dialogue," Tillerson said, reports NBC News. "In terms of direct talks with the United States ... we're a long way from negotiations."
Tillerson said "talkes about talks" would be the first step in creating a dialogue between the two nations.0comments
"We just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it," Tillerson said.
On Tuesday, South Korean officials said North Korea agreed to pause nuclear tests if talks started with the U.S., reports CBS News. Chung said Pyonyang was ready to have a "heart-to-heart" talk with Washington.