WASHINGTON (CBSNews) — South Korea’s national security adviser Chung Eui-yong says President Donald Trump has agreed to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the North is “committed” to denuclearization.
The intended meeting — confirmed by the president and White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders — is supposed to take place by May, but a time and place have yet to be decided.
Chung said Kim “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible. 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 refrain from nuclear testing, and routine joint military exercises will continue as planned. “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.”
Chung thanked Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, the national security team and National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster, saying that Trump’s leadership and his pressure policies, along with “international solidarity,” led to this juncture.
The president tweeted that a meeting is “being planned,” and sanctions will remain in place until an agreement is reached.
On a last-minute conference call with reporters, a senior administration official said Trump was briefed by South Korean president Moon Jae-in, along with other South Korean and U.S. officials. The official, asked about the possibility of inspections, said any deal with North Korea would have to come with some form of verification of denuclearization.
The announcement was made at the White House after Trump unexpectedly walked into the White House briefing room Thursday and told reporters that South Korea would be making a major announcement at 7 p.m. The president rarely — if ever — appears in the briefing room, tipping off reporters to how momentous the announcement must be.
(CBS News’ Margaret Brennan contributed to this report.)