By Kim Rahn
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has expressed willingness to meet U.S. President Donald Trump for talks over denuclearization as soon as possible, South Korean officials visiting Washington said, Friday.
In response, Trump said he would like to meet him by May, they said.
National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong, one of President Moon Jae-in's envoys to Pyongyang who is now visiting Washington, said in a press briefing at the White House that he delivered such messages of Kim to Trump.
"I told President Trump that, in our meeting, North Korean leader Kim Jung-un said he is committed to denuclearization," Chung said. "Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."
The North Korean leader also said he understands the South Korea-U.S. regular joint military drills, which had been delayed until after the PyeongChang Winter Olympics and Paralympics, will continue after the Games.
"And he expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible," Chung said. "President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jung-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization."
Chung said South Korea, the U.S., Japan and other partners involved in the North Korea issue are optimistic about continuing the diplomatic process for a peaceful resolution of the issue, but would continue pressure and sanctions against the North "until North Korea matches its words with concrete actions."
By Kim Rahn