by Brett Samuels · March 8, 2018
President Trump said Thursday night that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until an agreement is reached for Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
Trump tweeted that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had discussed denuclearization with South Korean officials and that the North would not conduct missile tests during talks.
“Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!” Trump tweeted.
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
The Trump administration said Thursday night that it would maintain “maximum pressure” on North Korea to end its nuclear program ahead of Trump’s meeting with the country’s leader.
After a South Korean official said that Kim wanted to meet with Trump, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement that Trump “will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined.”
“We look forward to the denuclearization of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain,” she added.
South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-Yong announced outside the White House on Thursday night that Trump had agreed to meet with Kim by May in an effort to get Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear ambitions.
“Kim Jong Un said that he’s committed to denuclearization. Kim pledged that North Korea would refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests,” Chung said, adding that the North Korean leader has expressed “eagerness” to meet with Trump.
Members of the Trump administration have previously said they’d be willing to hold talks with North Korea, but that they would remain focused on getting Pyongyang to abandon its nuclear program.
The U.S. imposed additional sanctions on North Korea late last month targeting the country’s fuel supply.
U.S. officials have approached the possibility of talks with caution, and expressed skepticism that Kim Jong Un is sincere about ending his nuclear program.
Updated: 8:15 p.m.
The Hill · by Brett Samuels · March 8, 2018