Donald Trump to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

Chung Eui-yong Suh Hoon

Chung Eui-yong Suh Hoon

President Trump received Kim's invitation from a South Korean delegation, led by National Security Office Chief Chung Eui-yong. "Also, no missile testing by North Korea (DPRK) during this period of time", the tweet said.

Trump has said that the development is under-progress but the sanctions would remain in place until a firm agreement is reached.

A meeting between the powerful leaders would be a major turnaround after North Korea carried out a battery of tests aimed at developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the United States mainland.

But 'in terms of direct talks... we're a long way from negotiations, we just need to be very clear-eyed and realistic about it, ' he said. In a hastily arranged press statement outside the White House to make the announcement, Chung praised Trump's "leadership".

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United States officials said Pyongyang had scrapped secretly planned talks at the last minute after Pence denounced abuses from North Korea's "murderous regime". He's oscillated between threats and insults directed at Kim, and more conciliatory rhetoric.

Kim was also committed to denuclearization of the DPRK, Chung added.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern sees preparations for talks between Donald Trump and North Korea leader Kim Jong-un as a welcome "de-escalation" in their nuclear stand-off. Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, is standing behind him.

"I suspect and I fear that the North Koreans will say to Trump "come to Pyongyang" and if he does that then the optics are all wrong".

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The announcement was made at the White House after Mr. 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 tension started to ease in the recently concluded Winter Olympics in Pyongyang. The drills are expected to resume next month.

North and South Korea are technically still at war after their 1950-53 conflict ended in a ceasefire, not a truce.

"I explained to President Trump that his leadership and his maximum pressure policy, together with worldwide solidarity, brought us to this juncture".

Zhang Liangui, a North Korea expert at China's Central Party School, told BuzzFeed News "this issue is not one that can be resolved just between the U.S. and North Korea, it's a global issue, so China and other countries must join the process at some stage". "Hopefully, you will give me credit".

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Some even suggested Mr Moon should receive the Nobel Peace prize, although scepticism over previous failed talks remained.

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