U.S. ‘fully’ expects summit with N. Korea

The White House said Monday it "fully" expects U.S. President Donald Trump to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un if the regime keeps its promises.

Kim invited Trump to a summit after agreeing to commit to denuclearization, halt nuclear and missile tests, and expressing understanding that joint military exercises between South Korea and the U.S. would continue.

Trump, in a surprise move, accepted the invitation Thursday. A day later, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders called for "concrete actions" from the North, which led to interpretations the U.S. was attaching new preconditions to the summit.

Asked if there is a chance the meeting won't take place, Sanders told a regular press briefing Monday, "We fully expect that it will."

"The offer was made, and we've accepted. North Korea made several promises, and we hope that they would stick to those promises. And, if so, the meeting will go on as planned," she said.

Trump said he would meet with Kim by May to achieve "permanent denuclearization." No details of the venue or substance have been announced.

"We're continuing to prepare on a number of levels," Sanders said. "Most of that is an interadministration and interagency process, and I'm not going to get ahead of any of the details of the where, the when or any of that here today."

Asked what makes Kim's pledge to denuclearize credible, she touted the administration's campaign of increased economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation against Pyongyang.

"I think it shows the effectiveness of the maximum pressure campaign, and that's one of the reasons that we're not letting up on the maximum pressure campaign, and we're going to continue pushing forward on it," Sanders said.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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