USA Today is reporting that President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May for high-level talks toward creating a nuclear-free Korean peninsula. The news was announced by a South Korean official outside the White House on Thursday.
The newspaper reports “The extraordinary and unexpected opening came through shuttle diplomacy by a South Korean delegation arriving in Washington Thursday. Trump heralded the development as a “major announcement” after speaking with the South Korean president.”
If the meeting does indeed take place, it would be a historic moment much as President Reagan’s visit to Berlin when Reagan exhorted, “Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!” to the cheers of hundreds of thousands present to witness the speech. Historians and political analysts believe that moment in President Reagan’s foreign policy, led to the downfall of the Soviet Union and Communist systems around the world. Today, only five communist nations remain in the world.
A meeting between Trump and Un would leave the world breathless in hopefulness as it may be the best and only hope for peace in the region. Millions of Christians pray for North Korean believers who are considered the most persecuted in the entire world.
“I told President Trump that in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he’s committed to denuclearization. He pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests,” South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters after meeting with Trump at the White House.
USA Today reports that Eui-yong gave Trump total credit for bringing the sparing parties to the negotiating table, saying, “I explained to President Trump that his leadership, and his maximum pressure policy, along with international solidarity, brought us to this juncture,” he said. The Trump administration has rallied the United Nations to impose ever-tightening sanctions against North Korea following a battery of missile tests.
Trump claimed Thursday on ABC news that , of an unexpected — and unprecedented — visit to the White House briefing room, calling it a “major announcement” about a “big subject.”
At a Tuesday press conference, Trump appeared to warm to the idea of talks with North Korea, which he had previously dismissed as “a waste of time.”
“I think that they are sincere,” he said of North Korea’s desire for talks. “I hope they’re sincere. We’re going to soon find out.”
The surprise unofficial announcement follows several weeks of thawing relations between North and South Korea, prompted by Trumps successful diplomatic outreach to the U.N. which rallied nations around the world to strengthen sanctions. Also helping was the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics which Trump encouraged.
South Korean President Moon Jae-In sent Chung to North Korea this week as part of the highest-level talks in a decade.
Those talks were seen as a first step toward normalization of relations between the two countries, which have been divided since the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean war.
An official announcement from the White House may come within days.