On Thursday night, it was revealed that Kim Jong Un extended an invitation to President Donald Trump for a meeting, and the president has reportedly agreed, according to Chung Eui-yong, a South Korean national security adviser. The meeting is anticipated to take place by May and would include discussions to “continue the goal of denuclearization.”
Chung made the announcement from the White House on Thursday night, and expressed that Kim is aware that joint military exercises between the US and South Korea would continue and that the dictator is “committed to denuclearization.”
“He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear missile tests,” said Chung, according to a report by Fox News. Chung added that Trump’s “leadership” and his “maximum pressure” had brought us “to this juncture.”
Earlier on Thursday, Trump had announced that South Korea would be releasing a “major statement” regarding North Korea. Chung met with H.R. McMaster, the White House National Security Adviser, earlier in the day as well.
After years of escalating tensions, this appears to be a possible diplomatic opening to resolve the nuclear weapons issue.
During the last year, Trump and Kim’s relationship was contentious, with both parties using increasing amounts of rhetoric as North Korea ramped up nuclear and missile testing.
Threats and counter-threats were regularly unleashed.
In August, Trump stated that the US would respond with “fire, fury and frankly power, the likes of which this world has never seen before.”
During a speech on January 1, Kim stated, “The US should know that the button for nuclear weapons is on my table,” adding, “The entire area of the US mainland is within our nuclear strike range.”
Trump responded in a tweet, saying, “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!”
The last attempt at talks with North Korea ended in 2009. The US, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, China, and Japan were all involved, but things came to a halt when North Korea walked out of the meeting.