South Korea: North wants to denuclearize before end of Trump’s first term

South Korea: North wants to denuclearize before end of Trump’s first term
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A South Korean official said Thursday following a meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that Pyongyang is willing to denuclearize by the end of President TrumpDonald John TrumpRosenstein expected to leave DOJ next month: reports Allies wary of Shanahan's assurances with looming presence of Trump States file lawsuit seeking to block Trump's national emergency declaration MORE's first term, The Associated Press reported.

South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong told reporters that Kim committed to taking "more active" measures to denuclearize if the international community responds with goodwill gestures in negotiations, according to the news service.

“Chairman Kim Jong Un has made it clear several times that he is firmly committed to denuclearization, and he expressed frustration over skepticism in the international community over his commitment,” Chung said.


“He said he’s pre-emptively taken steps necessary for denuclearization and wants to see these goodwill measures being met with goodwill measures," he added.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will reportedly hold a summit from Sept. 18-20 in Pyongyang as a next step in negotiations.

The AP reported that Kim expressed continuing faith in Trump, even as the U.S. has voiced uncertainty about North Korea's willingness to fully abandon its nuclear program.

Trump thanked Kim for his trust in a tweet early Thursday.

Trump late last month called off Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's planned visit to North Korea, and accused Pyongyang of slow-walking efforts to dismantle its nuclear program.

Trump tweeted that a high-level visit is not appropriate at “this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.” The president added that he looked forward to seeing Kim again.

The decision marked a rare note of skepticism from Trump, who proclaimed after his meeting in Singapore with Kim in mid-June that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat.”

The president is set to meet with Moon on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly meeting later this month.