The South Korean delegation briefed Donald Trump days after their meeting with Kim Jong-un: REUTERS
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump are to meet in person by the end of May, it has been announced, an extraordinary overture after months of mutual hostility.
News of the meeting was delivered by South Korean officials after talks with Mr Trump at the White House.
They passed a verbal message from Mr Kim, saying the North Korean leader was “committed to denuclearisation”.
South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said the news “came like a miracle”.
“If President Trump and Chairman Kim meet following an inter-Korean summit, complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula will be put on the right track in earnest,” he said.
China has welcomed the development, saying the Korean peninsula issue was “heading in the right direction” and calling for “political courage”.
However, correspondents say the North has halted missile and nuclear tests during previous talks, only to resume them when it lost patience or felt it was not getting what it demanded, reports the BBC
The latest announcement came days after the South Korean delegation met Mr Kim in Pyongyang.
Speaking outside the White House after briefing Mr Trump, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said he had passed on a message that Mr Kim was “committed to denuclearisation” and had “pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests”.
Mr Trump said the development was “great progress” but that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place until a firm agreement was reached.
There is no indication yet of where the Trump-Kim talks might take place, but the Korean border’s demilitarised zone (DMZ) and Beijing are seen as likely options.