ABUJA – US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said on Monday that his department has not received any information from Pyongyang about the prospective meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
“We’ve not heard anything directly back from North Korea but we expect to hear something directly from them,” Tillerson said at a joint press conference with his Nigerian counterpart, Geoffrey Onyema.
Tillerson said there are many necessary requirements before an agreement on the meeting’s venue and agenda can be reached, adding that the planning for the summit is still in the early stages.
Pyongyang has not made any further announcements since the head of South Korea’s National Security Office, Chung Eui-yong, delivered to Trump a message he had received from Kim during a high-level meeting in Pyongyang.
“President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization,” Chung, who headed a South Korean delegation to Washington, told reporters.
In an offer aimed at kick-starting the negotiations, Kim has pledged to freeze his country’s ballistic missile testing program and embark upon a process to “denuclearize” provided his regime is given security guarantees, the South Koreans said.
The conversations with the North Korean leader will be “tremendous success,” Trump predicted on Saturday, while senior American officials asserted on Sunday that Washington will not make any concessions to North Korea.
Tillerson is in Nigeria, the last stop on an African tour that has taken him to Ethiopia, Djibouti, Kenya and Chad.