After all the bickering, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are going to meet face to face
Not many saw this one coming.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are set to meet face to face by May of this year to discuss North Korea’s nuclear programme.
The two leaders have traded very public and personal jibes back and forth in recent months, but will at least attempt to settle their difference after Trump accepted an invitation to meet Kim Jong-un, with the meeting expected to take place “by May” according to the White House.
News of Trump’s acceptance of Kim Jong-un’s invitation was announced by South Korean officials outside the White House on Thursday after they had verbally relayed Kim Jong-un’s invitation to the US President.
In a statement on Thursday night, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said that Trump “greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon (Jae-in)”.
.@POTUS greatly appreciates the nice words of the S. Korean delegation & Pres Moon. He will accept the invitation to meet w/ Kim Jong Un at a place & time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearization of NK. In the meantime all sanctions & maximum pressure must remain
— Stephanie Grisham (@PressSec) March 9, 2018
Sanders said that Trump will accept the invitation to meet at an as yet to be determined time and location and that “in the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain”.
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 invitation to the meeting, according to South Korean officials, came with an offer to suspend nuclear missile tests in North Korea, a condition that had been imposed by the US before any negotiations could take place.
The meeting, should it go ahead, will be the first ever meeting between the leaders of the two counties and perhaps even more surprising considering that it’s only a few months since Trump labelled Kim Jong-un “short and fat” in response to being labelled a “dotard”, a term long associated with an elderly or senile person, by the North Korean foreign ministry.
Trump’s insult led to an editorial in a state-run North Korean newspaper, which described him as ‘just a hideous criminal sentenced to death by the Korean people’.