The Washington Post reports:
North Korea’s belligerent leader, Kim Jong Un, has asked President Trump for talks and Trump has agreed to meet him “by May,” South Korea’s national security adviser said at the White House Thursday after delivering the invitation to the American president.
Kim has also committed to stopping nuclear and missile testing, even during joint military drills in South Korea next month, Chung Eui-yong told reporters in Washington.
After a year in which North Korea fired inter-continental ballistic missiles capable of reaching all of the United States and tested what is widely thought to have been a hydrogen bomb, such a moratorium would be welcomed by the U.S. and the world.
This is a big deal, and a certain amount of vindication for Trump’s strategy of talking tough in order to get negotiations.
There is no guarantee of a good outcome from the negotiations, but just the fact they will occur is a really good step in the right direction.
Since he took over the leadership of North Korea from his father at the end of 2011, Kim has not met any other head of state. Discussions are now underway to hold a summit with Moon in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas at the end of next month.
This would be the third inter-Korean summit but there has never been a face-to-face meeting, or even a phone call, between the sitting leaders of North Korea and the United States. Former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton met the then-leaders — Carter met Kim’s grandfather Kim Il Sung and Clinton met his father, Kim Jong Il — during visits to Pyongyang after they had left office.
So again this is a big deal. The first meeting Kim has had with any head of state and the first meeting any North Korean leader has had with a US President.
Trump has a very transaction approach to foreign policy, as opposed to a principles based approach. In this case the transactional approach may work best.