United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have agreed to meet face to face in May, officials say.
It would be the first meeting between a leader of the reclusive state and his American counterpart in what is an extraordinary turn of events after months of mutual hostility.
This was disclosed by South Korean officials after talks with Mr Trump at the White House, saying they delivered a verbal message from Mr Kim whom, according to them, was “committed to denuclearisation”.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, who has been responsible for the thawing in relations along the Korean Peninsula in recent months, said the news “came like a miracle”, while Mr Trump has hailed the “great progress” made, but adding that sanctions would remain in place.
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
“If President Trump and Chairman Kim meet following an inter-Korean summit, complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be put on the right track in earnest,” Moon said.
China, an ally of North Korea, welcomed the development, saying the Korean peninsula issue was “heading in the right direction”, BBC writes.
There’s however scepticism in certain quarters as the North has halted missile and nuclear tests during previous talks, only to resume them when it felt it was not getting what it had expected.
North Korea’s UN ambassador said the “courageous decision” of Mr Kim would help secure “peace and stability in the Korean Peninsula and the East Asia region”.
The latest announcement came days after a South Korean delegation met Mr Kim in Pyongyang in the wake of North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
It is not yet clear where the Trump-Kim talks might take place, but the Korean border’s demilitarised zone (DMZ) and Beijing have been touted as likely options.