President Donald Trump is set to become the first ever US president to meet with a North Korean leader after he agreed to a historic meeting with Kim Jong-un.
After months of trading insults and threatening to ‘totally destroy’ the country, Trump agreed on Thursday to meet with Kim for a summit to negotiate an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
No sitting American president has ever met with a North Korean leader.
The meeting would be unprecedented during seven decades of animosity between the US and North Korea. The countries remain in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
After months of trading insults and threatening to ‘totally destroy’ the country, President Trump agreed on Thursday to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un for a summit
‘Great progress being made,’ Trump tweeted after the South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, announced the plans to reporters in a hastily called appearance on a White House driveway.
Trump added that sanctions will remain in place until there’s a deal.
It has been suggested that the upcoming summit is somewhat of a gamble and could be seen as a diplomatic win for North Korea given the country has been after international respect for years.
The meeting between Kim and Trump, who have exchanged bellicose insults in the past year that have raised fear of war, would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of tests aimed at developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
The meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un (above) would be unprecedented during seven decades of animosity between the US and North Korea
Peace move: Kim Jong Un held face to face talks with South Korea’s delegation this week – and has passed a message to Trump offering to meet
President Donald Trump has accepted North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un’s dramatic offer to meet, and he’ll do it by May, a South Korean official said Thursday evening
Trump took office vowing to stop North Korea from attaining a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland, a goal that Pyongyang is on the cusp of reaching.
Trump’s aides have been wary of North Korea’s diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments and the failure of efforts on disarmament by the administrations of President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Under Clinton in October 2000, then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held talks in Pyongyang with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un.
The White House said late on Thursday that Trump’s meeting with Kim would take place ‘at a place and time to be determined.’
People watch a TV screen showing North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the Seoul Railway Station in South Korea on Thursday following the announcement
A protester stands to oppose the United States’ policies against North Korea near U.S. Embassy in Seoul on Thursday
‘Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze,’ Trump said in a tweet. ‘Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time.’
It marks a dramatic shift in Trump’s stance toward North Korea.
He has threatened the pariah nation with ‘fire and fury’ if its threats against the U.S. and its allies continued.
He has derided Kim by referring to him as ‘Little Rocket Man.’ Kim has pilloried Trump as ‘senile’ and a ‘dotard.’
After Kim repeated threats against the U.S. in a New Year’s address and mentioned the ‘nuclear button’ on his office desk, Trump responded by tweeting that he has a nuclear button, too, ‘but it is a much bigger & more powerful one than his, and my Button works!’