South Korea says Trump will meet North Korea's Kim by May

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WASHINGTON (AP) -

South Korea's national security director says President Donald Trump has decided he will meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un "by May."

Chung Eui-yong spoke outside the White House after a day of briefings with senior U.S. officials, including Trump, on the recent inter-Korea talks. Chung says Trump said "he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula.

Chung says Kim told the South Koreans he is "committed to denuclearization" and pledged that "North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."

The meeting would be the first of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting president of the United States. The two countries have been in a formal state of war since the Korean War in the 1950s.

5:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump says an upcoming announcement about North Korea is "almost beyond" talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

Trump announced earlier that South Korea will be making a "major statement" about North Korea at 7 p.m. Eastern time Thursday.

An ABC News producer tweets that ABC reporter Jon Karl asked Trump privately if the statement will be about talks between the U.S. and North Korea. Trump responded: "It's almost beyond that. Hopefully, you will give me credit."

Trump teased the announcement in the White House press briefing room. It comes after hours of consultations at the White House between U.S. and South Korean officials over recent inter-Korean talks.

5:40 p.m.

Presidential spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says South Korea's national security adviser will be briefing reporters at the White House Thursday evening.

A South Korean delegation has spent hours briefing U.S. officials on the outcome of their recent pathfinding meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

President Donald Trump made a surprise appearance in the White House briefing room to announce that South Korea would be making a "major statement" about North Korea at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

North Korea has invited the U.S. to reopen direct talks, saying it would suspend its nuclear tests during such talks.

Trump hasn't said whether he'd agree to those conditions, but has credited himself for the recent flurry of action.

5:16 p.m.

President Donald Trump says South Korea will be making a "major statement" about North Korea at 7 p.m. Eastern time Thursday.

Trump teased the announcement in his first visit to the White House press briefing room. It comes after hours of consultations at the White House between U.S. and South Korean officials over recent inter-Korean talks.

That dialogue in North Korea concluded with an invitation to the U.S. to reopen direct talks with Pyongyang, saying it would suspend its nuclear tests during such talks. Trump has expressed openness to the invitation, saying, "We'll see."

4:15 p.m.

South Korean officials were briefing the White House Thursday on the outcome of their pathfinding meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Seoul has already publicized that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearization and normalizing ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North's nuclear and missile tests. The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

Top Trump administration officials were getting a chance to hear firsthand from South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, who led the delegation that went to Pyongyang.
 

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