No New Conditions for Trump's Planned Kim Meeting, Official Says
(Bloomberg) -- The White House hasn’t added conditions for proposed talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un beyond requiring the regime to cease missile and nuclear-weapon testing, an administration official said.
Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said earlier on Friday that the regime must first undertake unspecified “concrete and verifiable actions.” The remarks appeared to add conditions to a meeting first announced on Thursday.
She also declined to confirm that Trump aimed to meet with Kim by May, as a South Korean envoy had said at the White House on Thursday.
"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," Sanders said Friday in a briefing with reporters.
Subsequently, an administration official said the White House expects Kim to stick to promises -- conveyed through South Korean envoys -- that he would cease weapons tests before the summit and that he’s open to discussing denuclearization. The official declined to be identified discussing the White House’s planning for the meeting.
Sanders said that the North Koreans had “promised to denuclearize, they have promised to stop nuclear and missile testing, and they’ve recognized that we’re going to continue in our military exercises.”
She did not clarify what precise steps the North Korean regime would need to take.
South Korean National Security Council chief Chung Eui-yong said Thursday that Kim had committed not to conduct further nuclear tests before the summit with Trump. He said that in a meeting with Kim, the dictator “said he’s committed to denuclearization.”
Pressed on the possibility that the meeting may not happen, Sanders said “a lot of things are possible.”
“I won’t sit here and walk through every hypothetical that could exist in the world,” she said. “But I can tell you the president accepted that invitation on the basis that you have concrete and verifiable steps.”
A senior administration official said in a conference call for reporters on Thursday, after the meeting was announced, that Trump had agreed to accept Kim’s invitation within a few months. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.
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