Donald Trump will meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, South Korea has announced

  • Video report by ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore

Donald Trump has accepted an offer of a summit from the North Korean leader and will meet with Kim Jong Un by May, a top South Korean official has announced.

In a remarkable turnaround in relations between two historic adversaries, South Korean national security director, Chung Eui-yong, told reporters of the planned meeting after briefing Mr Trump and other top US officials about a rare encounter with Mr Kim in the North Korean capital on Monday.

"He expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible," Mr Chung said in a statement outside the White House. "President Trump appreciated the briefing and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation."

  • Why has North Korea pushed for a meeting now?

The White House said the meeting between Mr Trump and his North Korean counterpart will be held "at a place and time to be determined".

Seoul has already publicised that North Korea offered talks with the United States on denuclearisation and normalising ties, a potential diplomatic opening after a year of escalating tensions over the North's nuclear and missile tests.

The rival Koreas also agreed to hold a leadership summit in late April.

In a tweet, Donald Trump said "great progress" was being made, although sanctions will remain in place until an agreement is reached.

He said: "Kim Jong Un talked about denuclearization with the South Korean Representatives, not just a freeze.

"Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time. Great progress being made but sanctions will remain until an agreement is reached. Meeting being planned!"

The latest round of sanctions to be imposed on North Korea by the US was announced on Wednesday, when the State Department revealed punitive measures in response to its finding that Pyongyang was behind the nerve agent assassination of Mr Kim's half-brother.