- The Washington Times - Friday, January 18, 2019

President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet for a second summit “near the end of February,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.

The announcement came after Mr. Trump met in the Oval Office with Kim Yong-chol, North Korea’s top negotiator in the denuclearization talks.

Various press reports have speculated that the summit will be held in Vietnam, but the White House hasn’t specified a location.

Kevin Martin, president of Peace Action and coordinator of the Korea Peace Network, said the announcement bodes well after “months of scant visible progress in negotiations between the U.S. and North Korea.”

“The real test of progress is not the announcement of another summit, but whether or not the agreements that come out of that meeting advance the causes of peace and security,” he said. “If the administration is prepared to abandon its maximalist demand that North Korea entirely denuclearize prior to any concessions from the U.S., real progress becomes much more viable.”

The meeting will be the follow-up to the historic summit last summer in Singapore, which was the first time a U.S. president sat down with North Korea’s leader.

Mr. Trump has used tough economic sanctions to bring North Korea to the negotiating table, penalties that remain in place as the administration pushes for a complete and verifiable end to the Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programs.

The U.S. canceled military exercises with South Korea that often provoked Pyongyang, and North Korea has returned the remains of U.S. soldiers missing in action since the Korean War ended in 1953.

North Korea has refrained from conducting any nuclear or missile exercises during the negotiations.

S.A. Miller contributed to this report.

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