The White House on Friday announced that a second summit between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would take place in late February. The location of the meeting will be announced later.
The two leaders met for the first time on June 12 in Singapore for a historic summit, following which Kim committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.
Friday’s announcement came after Trump’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator on nuclear talks, at the Oval Office. The two discussed “denuclearisation and a second summit...”, CNN quoted Press Secretary Sarah Sanders as saying.
“The US is going to continue to keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearisation,” Sanders added. “We’ve had very good steps in good faith from the North Koreans in releasing the hostages and other moves so we’re going to continue those conversations.”
The North Korean envoy met Trump after a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US Special Envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun at a hotel in Washington DC. Pompeo, Biegun and Kim Yong Chol reportedly discussed efforts to make progress on the commitments Trump and Kim made at the Singapore summit, reported PTI.
State Department Deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said the two sides held a productive first meeting at the working level.
Kim Jong-un, in his New Year address, claimed that Pyongyang has taken practical steps towards denuclearisation. If the US responds with practical and trustworthy measures, bilateral relations will “develop wonderfully”, he said. However, he added that North Korea will have to find a “new way to defend sovereignty” if Washington persists with imposing sanctions.
In December, North Korea warned the US that new sanctions imposed by Washington could derail its plans to dismantle its nuclear programme. The month before, North Korea threatened to resume its nuclear programme if the US did not lift sanctions on the country. Later that month, Washington abruptly postponed high-level talks with Pyongyang.