The Trump administration did not agree to any North Korean demands before President Donald Trump agreed to meet with Kim Jong Un, Vice President Mike Pence said Friday.
“The North Koreans are coming to the table despite the United States making zero concessions,” Pence said in a statement.
“In close coordination with our allies, we have consistently increased the pressure on the Kim regime,” the VP said.
“Our resolve is undeterred and our policy remains the same: all sanctions remain in place and the maximum pressure campaign will continue until North Korea takes concrete, permanent, and verifiable steps to end their nuclear program,” he added.
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White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed South Korea’s national security adviser’s Thursday night announcement that Trump has agreed to meet directly with Kim over his nuclear arms and long-range missile programs.
No U.S. president has ever held direct talks with a North Korean leader — though several did consider meeting with Kim’s father when he was in power before opting against it.
Kim has told South Korean officials he intends to suspend all nuclear and missile testing while talks are ongoing. Pence contends Trump gave up nothing similar or even made a lesser concession, often a bulwark of diplomatic deal-making.
National security and foreign policy experts, however, say Trump likely will have to make some concessions if he hopes to secure a deal with Kim. Others warn that by agreeing to meetings, Trump has given Kim what he might most crave: international legitimacy.