The South Korean delegation that spoke with Kim Jong-Un as part of peace talks arrived in Washington, D.C. Thursday afternoon. Just hours later, President Donald Trump revealed that a big announcement would come from the delegation and appeared to take credit for whatever would be said.
Republic of Korea National Security Advisor Chung Eui-Yong along with former Prime Minister Chung Un-chan spoke with the White House about the talks this afternoon, which were later revealed to be geared towards setting up a meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader
“He is committed to denuclearization,” Chung Eui-Yong said. He also noted that Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong-Un by May.
The letter reportedly sent by the North Korea dictator asked for Trump to come to the table for peace talks. According to senior U.S. officials, Kim Jong-Un offered to suspend nuclear missile testing. That has been promised before, however, and those promises were broken.
Trump has been the only leader willing to fight Kim Jong-Un in the same petulant way, matching him tantrum for tantrum using Twitter as the medium for insults.
The Pentagon was caught off guard by the announcement and weren’t included in the announcement. CNN also reported this evening that Trump didn’t alert his own staff either. Apparently, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson also didn’t have any information about the talks.
“In terms of direct talks with the United States – and you asked negotiations, and we’re a long ways from negotiations,” he said just hours prior to the announcement, according to the Associated Press.
Secretary Tillerson, just a few hours ago: "In terms of direct talks with the United States – and you asked negotiations, and we’re a long ways from negotiations."
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 9, 2018
In a statement from the White House, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed the upcoming meeting.
“President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon. He 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 said.
Trump later tweeted to confirm the meeting was being planned.
“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,” he 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