US President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late February as the both sides seek to jump-start denuclearisation talks that have made little progress since their historic first meeting in Singapore last year.
The White House made the announcement after Trump met Kim Yong Chol, North Korea's lead negotiator on nuclear talks, in the Oval Office on Friday January 18.
"The President looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," said White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.
The nuclear talks have stalled since Trump, Kim's June summit in 2018. White House aides disclosed no other logistics, but one location that has been strongly considered is Danang, Vietnam, the Washington Post cited people familiar with the negotiations as It was unclear whether Kim Yong Chol and Trump discussed specific terms related to the second summit, but Vice President Mike Pence made it clear earlier this week that Washington was still waiting for Pyongyang to take concrete steps to denuclearise.
"We've continued to make progress," Sanders told reporters after the White House meeting. She said that the administration would "keep pressure and sanctions on North Korea until we see fully and verified denuclearisation".
Sanders also characterised the meeting as "productive".
The US President and the North Korean leader’s first summit ended with a commitment from the latter to “work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula”, but negotiations appear to have bogged down since then
Kim Yong Chol had arrived at Washington on Thursday January 17 and brought with him a letter from Kim Jong-un meant for the US President, CNN reported. It was not clear what the letter contained. But it was expected to lay the groundwork for another summit, the report said.
South Korea's presidential Blue House welcomed the news and said Seoul would cooperate with the countries involved "to produce a specific and substantial outcome" for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and the establishment of a "peace regime".
"We expect this summit between North Korea and the US to be a turning point for building up permanent peace on the Korean peninsula," the Blue House spokesman Kim Eui-keum said in a statement on Saturday, January 19.
Trump said he was looking forward to the talks.
The US President and the North Korean leader's first summit ended with a commitment from the latter to "work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", but negotiations appear to have bogged down since then.
North Korea has refused demands from US negotiators to provide a detailed inventory of its nuclear and missile programmes as Kim Jong-un says doing so would be tantamount to giving Washington a list of targets.
Instead, Pyongyang has insisted that the US lift economic sanctions on North Korea and offer a security guarantee to the isolated regime before it makes any further concessions.