Ryan Pickrell on April 9, 2018
President Donald Trump said at a cabinet meeting Monday that he will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May or early June.
While the two leaders are expected to meet for an unprecedented summit, the two sides have yet to hammer out the details for the meeting, specifically the location. U.S. and North Korean officials have been holding secret talks in recent weeks to prepare for the upcoming meeting.
The timeline has been a little unclear lately, but Trump’s statements suggest that the White House is closer to a decision.
South Korean diplomats who had just returned from a visit to Pyongyang relayed Kim’s initial invitation to Trump. The South Korean officials told the U.S. president that the North is open to talks about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. When the North Korean leader made a surprise state visit to China late in March, he made similar statements to Chinese President Xi Jinping, and there are reports that North Korean officials have told the U.S. that denuclearization is indeed on the table.
Observers suspect that North Korea’s definition of denuclearization might vary from that of the U.S. or that Kim might make unreasonable demands of the U.S. and its allies in exchange for the end of North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
Kim is expected to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27, and that meeting is expected to serve as an important precursor to the meeting with Trump.
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