North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is reportedly prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The news clears the way for a summit meeting between Kim Jong Un and President Trump, according to U.S. officials.
“The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a Trump administration official said Sunday morning.
Last month South Korean national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, told the White House that North Korea was prepared to engage in talks on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and would refrain from nuclear and missile tests. U.S. officials didn’t hear anything from the North Koreans directly for weeks, which raised concerns that their willingness was exaggerated.
The North Korean assurance doesn’t necessarily mean that the talks will succeed. North Korea has committed itself to denuclearization in the past. A September 2005 statement issued by North Korea said they were “committed to abandoning all nuclear weapons and programs.” Those negotiations eventually faltered. In his latest assurance to the U.S., Kim has repeated the promise his father, Kim Jong Il, made over 12 years ago. Since then, North Korea has expanded its nuclear arsenal and developed a missile that can reach the continental U.S.
The White House has said that it hopes to hold the summit meeting in late May, but a venue has yet to announced.