President Donald Trump told reporters Thursday that South Korea will make a “major announcement” concerning North Korea at 7 p.m. ET.
It was not immediately clear what the South Korean announcement would entail, but it came after a South Korean delegation came to the White House to brief officials on its most recent talks with North Korea — the most significant talks between the two countries in more than a decade.
The South Korean officials visiting the White House on Thursday talked to Trump, a person familiar with the matter said.
It’s not clear if they spoke to the President before or after his surprise pop-in to the White House briefing room.
The leader of the delegation, Chung Eui-yong, will make the announcement from the briefing room podium, the person says.
Trump has expressed an openness to dialogue with North Korea, but the Trump administration has said North Korea must first take concrete steps toward denuclearization.
“All options are on the table and our posture toward the regime will not change until we see credible moves toward denuclearization,” a senior administration official told reporters on Tuesday. “What we are looking for is concrete steps toward denuclearization.”
Trump’s approach to North Korea has wavered between bellicose rhetoric and expressions of openness to diplomacy — with the President saying the US would rain “fire and fury” on North Korea one day and then saying he would consider speaking directly with the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, under the right circumstances.
Amid the potentially breakthrough talks between North and South Korea, the Trump administration has also credited its campaign of “maximum pressure” on North Korea as having brought Pyongyang to the negotiating table.
Since Trump came in to office, the US has leveled some of its most significant and far-reaching sanctions against North Korea and has also succeeded in pressuring China to further isolate the regime.