Donald Trump to meet with Kim Jong-un regarding nuclear weapons in May

Mar 9, 2018 | International, News

REFILE – ADDING ID OF MAN ON THE RIGHT South Korea’s National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong, Cho Yoon-je, the South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon, (L), make an announcement about North Korea and the Trump administration outside of the West Wing at the White House in Washington, U.S. March 8, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Chihiro Miya

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson arrives at Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti, March 9, 2018. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

The anticipated meeting in May between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un will take weeks to arrange, according to U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

In what’s being seen as a possible breakthrough, the two leaders will discuss nuclear weapons, suspension of North Korea’s missile tests and denuclearization.

“I think this was the the most forward-leaning report that we have had in terms of Kim Jong-un not just willingness but his strong desire for talks,” Tillerson said on Friday.

“So I think, really what changed was his posture, in a fairly dramatic way, that in all honesty, was a little of a surprise to us as well.”

The first face-to-face meeting between the two countries was announced by Chung Eui-yong, the head of South Korea’s National Security Office, on Thursday night.

Chung, who met with Kim on Monday, said that he has “committed to denuclearization.”

“He (Kim) expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible,” said Chung after briefing Trump.

“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong -un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization.”

Trump shared a statement on Twitter.

Statement from Asia

South Korea, China and Japan had different reactions regarding the potential meeting, but overall they are positive.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said that denuclearization and peace on the Korean Peninsula is beginning.

“I believe the Pyeongchang Olympics and Paralympics as well as our endeavors for peace will help create a new global peace. All the credit should go to those people around the world who wish for peace,” Mood said.

Geng Shuang, a spokesman at China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said  “we hope all parties will demonstrate political courage and make political decisions so as to conduct all necessary and useful bilateral and multilateral contacts as soon as possible.”

Geng also said “we have repeatedly emphasized that sanctions are only means instead of ends and that sanctions alone cannot lead to the denuclearization on the Peninsula.”

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who will meet with Trump in April for a summit, said North Korea’s step toward denuclearization is completely verifiable and irreversible.

“I approve North Korea’s ‘change.’ This is a result of Japan and the U.S. cooperating together, plus our cooperation with South Korea and the international community, in continuously applying strong pressure (on North Korea),” Abe said.

Little Rocket Man

FILE PHOTO: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the launch of a Hwasong-12 missile in this undated photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on September 16, 2017. KCNA via REUTERS/File Photo .

In 2017, North Korea proceeded with a rapid series of missile test.

The country has launched 23 missiles during 16 tests since February of last year, prompting Trump to call Kim “rocket man.”

Kim has only been in power for seven years but he has launched more missiles than past leaders Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-Il combined.

“Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” said Trump in the United Nations general Assembly last September.
“The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea. “