Mar 13, 2018
WASHINGTON, March 11 (Yonhap) -- U.S. President Donald Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as long as the regime keeps its promises on denuclearization and nuclear and missile tests, a White House official said Sunday.
The spokesperson for the National Security Council rejected claims the administration set new preconditions for the envisioned summit when it called for "concrete actions" from the North.
"The Press Secretary's statement about 'concrete actions' did not refer to new preconditions," the spokesperson said in emailed comments to Yonhap. "The Press Secretary was conveying that North Korea must maintain its commitment to denuclearization and not test missiles or nuclear tests before the Summit."
Trump accepted Kim's invitation to a summit on Thursday after a year of heightened tensions over North Korea's nuclear and ballistic missile tests. The meeting, which Trump said would take place by May, would be the first between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
On Friday White House press secretary Sarah Sanders fielded questions about the unprecedented summit, saying "we're not going to have this meeting take place until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea."
"We've accepted the invitation to talk based on them following through with concrete actions on the promises that they've made," she said.
The NSC spokesperson recalled that Kim conveyed through a South Korean presidential delegation that he is committed to denuclearization, would refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests, and understands joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. will continue.
"Based on that, the President agreed to accept Kim's invitation to meet in person," he said.