Washington: US President Donald Trump will hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in late February on Pyongyang dismantling its nuclear and missile programmes, the White House has announced.
The two leaders had met on June 12 last year in Singapore for the first summit. The White House, however, did not identify a location for the second setting between the two leaders. The announcement came after Trump met with North Korean envoy, Kim Yong Chol, on Friday for a discussion that included talk about Kim Jong-un's unfulfilled pledge to dismantle his country's nuclear weapons programmes.
President Trump sat down with Kim Yong Chol, a high-level official in North Korea's Communist government, in the Oval Office, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.
"President Donald J Trump met with Kim Yong Chol for an hour and half, to discuss denuclearization and a second summit, which will take place near the end of February.
"The president looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date.” she said in a statement. The press secretary told reporters:
"We continue to make progress, we continue to have conversations." The US is going to continue to keep "pressure and sanctions" on North Korea until "we see fully and verifiable denuclearization", she said.
"We had very good steps and very good faith from the North Koreans with the release of hostages and other moves and so we'll continue this conversation. And the President looks forward to it next February," Sanders' told reporters.
The North Korean envoy arrived at the White House after a closed-door meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and US special envoy for North Korea Stephen Biegun at a hotel here. Following the White House meeting the North Korean official and a delegation he was leading were invited to lunch by Pompeo at Foggy Bottom headquarters of the State Department.
“The Secretary, Special Representative Biegun, and Vice Chairman Kim discussed efforts to make progress on the commitments President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un made at their summit in Singapore. At the conclusion of the Secretary's meeting with Vice Chairman Kim, the two sides held a productive first meeting at the working level,” State Department Deputy Spokesperson Robert Palladino said.
Democratic Congressman Brad Sherman said that in Singapore, Trump capitulated to Kim Jong-un – handing North Korea a propaganda coup in exchange for empty words. “During a second summit, he must deliver concrete, verifiable commitments from Pyongyang,” he demanded.
Last year in Singapore, Trump had described his first-ever historic meeting with Kim Jong-un as "really fantastic" and said they had agreed to "sign" an unspecified document after their "very positive" summit, aimed at normalising ties and complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The US president had said he believed he and Kim Jong-un will "solve a big problem, a big dilemma" and that by working together, "we will get it taken care of".
The summit at Singapore's Sentosa island - the first between a sitting US president and a North Korean leader - had marked a turnaround of relations between Trump, 72, and Kim, 36, after a long-running exchange of threats and insults. The US insists it will accept nothing less than complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.