US President Donald Trump has finally agreed to have a historic meeting with the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
After months of trading insults and threatening to ‘totally destroy’ the country, Trump agreed on Thursday to meet with “Rocket man” for a summit to negotiate an end to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program.
No sitting American president has ever met with a North Korean leader and Trump is set to be the first to do such.
The meeting would be unprecedented during seven decades of animosity between the US and North Korea. The countries remain in a state of war because the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice and not a peace treaty.
Great progress being made,’ Trump tweeted after the South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, announced the plans to reporters in a hastily called appearance on a White House driveway.
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
Trump added that sanctions will remain in place until there’s a deal.
It has been suggested that the upcoming summit is somewhat of a gamble and could be seen as a diplomatic win for North Korea given the country has been after international respect for years.
The meeting between Kim and Trump, who have exchanged bellicose insults in the past year that have raised fear of war, would be a major turnaround after a year in which North Korea has carried out a battery of tests aimed at developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the U.S. mainland.
Trump took office vowing to stop North Korea from attaining a nuclear-tipped missile that could reach the U.S. mainland, a goal that Pyongyang is on the cusp of reaching.
Trump’s aides have been wary of North Korea’s diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments and the failure of efforts on disarmament by the administrations of President Bill Clinton, President George W. Bush and President Barack Obama.
Under Clinton in October 2000, then-U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright held talks in Pyongyang with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the father of Kim Jong Un.
The White House said late on Thursday that Trump’s meeting with Kim would take place ‘at a place and time to be determined.’