North Korea was ‘surprised’ Trump agreed to talks: report

North Korea was ‘surprised’ Trump agreed to talks: report
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A former top U.S. diplomat to North Korea said Thursday he believes North Korean leaders were surprised at how quickly President TrumpDonald John TrumpProgressive group launches M pro-Biden ad buy targeting young voters Ilhan Omar: GOP response to calls for police reform 'was vicious' White House considers sweeping travel ban on members, families of the Chinese Communist Party: report MORE accepted their invitation to meet later this year. 

“To be frank with you, I think they were a little bit surprised that Washington, President Trump readily accepted. They thought it would take a little time,” Joseph Yun, the former special representative for North Korea policy, told CNN.

Trump reportedly did not take time to discuss the offer for a meeting with his advisers, but instead immediately accepted North Korea’s offer for a summit when the South Korean envoy extended the invitation.


Yun said he believes the planned meeting between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is a “great outcome,” and is hopeful that a meeting between the two can establish a process for future relations between the countries.

Yun announced his retirement late last month after 16 months on the job. He left just a few weeks after Trump's pick for ambassador to South Korea withdrew from consideration for the office over disagreements with the White House's policies. 

A South Korean official announced last week that Trump had accepted an invitation from Kim to meet by May. The White House said the meeting wouldn’t happen “until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea," but later clarified it "fully expects" the meeting to take place.

The planned meeting comes after months of increased tensions between the U.S. and North Korea. Both country's leaders repeatedly traded insults, while the U.S. also announced new sanctions on North Korea and Pyongyang claimed a successful missile test.