Washington: US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will come together once again as the two leaders will hold a summit “near the end of February”, the White House announced on Friday. However, the White House said that the location for the meeting will be announced: ‘at a later date’.
“President @realDonaldTrump looks forward to a second summit with Chairman Kim, which will take place near the end of February. Location will be announced at a later date,” the White House tweeted.
President @realDonaldTrump looks forward to a second summit with Chairman Kim, which will take place near the end of February. Location will be announced at a later date.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) January 18, 2019
The announcement came after Trump held talks with Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator on nuclear talks, at the Oval Office for around 90 minutes on fixing the second meeting and denuclearisation, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders was quoted in local news report.
Trump welcomed the senior North Korean official at the White House after the latter met US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo at a hotel in Washington DC earlier in the day.
Moreover, Pompeo also invited Kim Yong Chol and his entourage for a working lunch after his meeting with Trump at the White House.
Kim Yong Chol arrived in Washington DC on Thursday, amid speculations that he was in the US to fix the second meeting between Trump and Kim Jong-un.
This is Kim Yong Chol’s second visit to the US. In his first visit that took place last June, the top North Korean official visited New York and held talks with Pompeo before travelling to Washington DC, where he met Trump for two hours and handed over a letter from Kim Jong-un to him.
In that visit, Kim Yong Chol managed to break the deadlock between the US and North Korea, leading to the first-ever meeting between Trump and Kim days later at Capella Hotel in Singapore.
Kim Jong-un has repeatedly stated that his government is committed to fulfilling its promise of achieving denuclearisation and said the same even during his maiden meeting with Trump.
Even though engagements between Washington and Pyongyang reached new heights in 2018 with the unprecedented first meeting between Trump and Kim, the last few months of the year saw a stalemate in relations.
Progress after the first summit has been slow as North Korea has been eyeing sanctions relief. However, the US has insisted that the sanctions would remain intact till the communist country took proper steps for ensuring “fully complete and verifiable denuclearisation.”
Kim Jong-un, in his New Year’s speech, had threatened that his country would have to “seek a new way” if the US “does not make good on its promises” with regard to denuclearisation and continues with sanctions. In response, the US has remained firm that sanctions will remain “in full force and effect.