North America

Trump to meet Kim Jong-un in February for second US-North Korea summit

President Trump plans to meet North Korea leader Kim Jong-un near the end of February. Source: AAP

US President Donald Trump will meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un next month.

President Donald Trump and North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un will hold a summit "near the end of February," the White House said Friday, without specifying the location.

"The president looks forward to meeting with Chairman Kim at a place to be announced at a later date," spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said after Trump met for 90 minutes with top North Korean general Kim Yong-chol.

The new summit to discuss Pyongyang's denuclearisation will follow a first meeting held in Singapore in June 2018.

Sanders said Trump was meeting Kim Yong-chol to discuss relations between the two countries and continued progress on "North Korea's final, fully verified denuclearisation".

The former North Korea former spy chief earlier met Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a Washington hotel.

Trump has spoken several times of prospects for a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un early this year.

North Korea's Kim Yong-chol is one of the country's top negotiators.
North Korea's Kim Yong-chol is one of the country's top negotiators.

He has also exchanged several letters with Kim despite little tangible progress on a vague denuclearisation agreement reached at their historic first meeting last June in Singapore.

A planned meeting between Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol in New York last November was called off abruptly. US officials said at the time that North Korea had cancelled the session.

The talks have stalled over North Korea's refusal to provide a detailed accounting of its nuclear and missile facilities that would be used by inspectors to verify any deal to dismantle them.

The North has demanded that the US end harsh economic penalties and provide security guarantees before the North takes any steps beyond its initial suspension of nuclear and missile tests.

Trump has offered assurances that a second summit would allow him and Kim to seal a deal resolving the nuclear stand-off and improving a relationship marked by decades of animosity and mistrust since the Korean War.

Kim expressed frustration in an annual New Year's address over the lack of progress in negotiations. But on a visit to Beijing last week, he said North Korea would pursue a second summit, according to China's official Xinhua News Agency.

Kim's latest trip to China, his fourth since last year, came as the North's strongest ally has encouraged negotiations with the US while arguing in favour of immediate easing of sanctions.

Independent analysts are highly sceptical that North Korea will easily abandon a nuclear arsenal constructed in the face of deep poverty and probably seen by Kim as his only guarantee of his government's survival.

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