North, South Korea send delegations to discuss meeting for leaders
High-ranking North Korean and South Korean officials will meet next week to discuss plans for an upcoming meeting between the leaders of their two countries.
The Associated Press reports that the two countries have agreed to send officials to hash out the details of a meeting this week at the border village of Panmunjom, where they will discuss the specific topics and date for the two leaders’ talks.
The meeting will also be another step toward a planned meeting between President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, an unprecedented sitdown between the two countries’ leaders.
The delegation next week will be led by South Korean Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon and North Korea’s head of Korean affairs Ri Son Gwon.
Trump shocked many in Washington and around the world earlier this month when he announced that he had accepted a meeting with Kim, the first such meeting between a sitting U.S. president and his North Korean counterpart.
The move was made reportedly made without consultation with Trump’s own advisers, stunning the White House and catching top U.S. officials such as Defense Secretary James Mattis and national security adviser H.R. McMaster off guard.
Trump told reporters earlier this month that he hopes for a positive diplomatic outcome from the meeting, which does not yet have an official date. The president also noted that North Korean officials have promised to halt the country’s provocative nuclear missile tests in the interim.
“I think North Korea is going to go very well,” he said. “I think we will have tremendous success … they promised they wouldn’t be shooting off missiles in the meantime, and they’re looking to de-nuke. They’re gonna be great.”
A recent poll shows that Americans’ confidence in Trump to reach a diplomatic solution with North Korea’s leaders is at an all-time high, with 46 percent of U.S. voters saying they were confident Trump could resolve the problems diplomatically.