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The Latest: White House says Trump must see ‘concrete steps’

The Latest: White House says Trump must see ‘concrete steps’

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on a planned summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

5:05 a.m.

The White House says the president won’t hold a highly-anticipated meeting with North Korea’s leader unless he takes “concrete steps” that match promises made ahead of the talks.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders says North Korea has made promises to denuclearize, stop its nuclear and missile testing and allow joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises.

Sanders says President Donald Trump won’t have the meeting “until we see concrete actions that match the words and the rhetoric of North Korea.”

No time or place has been chosen. No sitting U.S. president has ever met with a North Korean leader.


5 a.m.

White House legislative affairs director Marc Short says President Donald Trump discussed his decision to meet with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un with a “handful” of lawmakers, but he’s not revealing names.

Short says the administration is cautious about the meeting, but that Congress is responding with “excitement and encouragement.” He told reporters at the White House Friday that lawmakers believe that “relationships there have been headed in a dire direction.”

Short adds that while the White House hopes the meeting “bears fruit,” officials are “going to be cautious about it.”

No time and place has yet been set for what would be a historic meeting between Trump and Kim. No sitting U.S. president has ever met with a North Korean leader.


12:25 a.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says North Korea’s desire to meet to discuss denuclearization is evidence that President Donald Trump’s “strategy to isolate the Kim regime is working.”

Pence says in a statement that the North Koreans are coming to the table even though the U.S. has made no concessions. He’s speaking the day after Trump agreed to a sit-down with Kim Jung Un and says that’s a testament to Trump’s strategy.

Pence reiterates that all sanctions will remain in place until the North “takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear program.”

He says, “Our resolve is undeterred and our policy remains the same.”


10 p.m.

The European Union is welcoming U.S. President Donald Trump’s readiness to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as a “positive development.”

EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini, in a statement Friday, also welcomed another summit planned for April between Kim and South Korea’s president.

She said the EU is looking forward to the outcome of the talks and that the bloc supports all efforts to obtain “the complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

South Korea’s national security director announced on Thursday that Trump had agreed to a proposal by Kim to meet by May to discuss the denuclearization of the peninsula.


6:10 p.m.

China’s foreign ministry says it hopes all parties to the North Korean nuclear dispute will “show their political courage” in restarting negotiations, and pledges its support in working toward that goal.

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