South Korean officials are expected to make a ‘major announcement’ from the White House — and it could signal the next steps in talks with North Korea

Donald Trump. Win McNamee/Getty Images
  • President Donald Trump teased a “major announcement” to be delivered by South Korean officials at the White House on Thursday.
  • During their talks with Trump administration officials this week, a South Korean delegation passed along a letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, signalling forward movement in potential diplomatic talks between the two Koreas and the US.
  • The development comes after an unprecedented face-to-face meeting South Korean leaders had earlier with Kim Jong-un.
  • “Hopefully, you will give me credit,” Trump told one reporter.

US officials say South Korean National Security adviser Chung Eui-yong will make an on-camera announcement from the White House on Thursday night. The announcement is widely expected to signal new diplomatic developments between the US, South Korea, and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

A South Korean delegation met with Trump administration officials this week and passed along a letter from Kim Jong-un, a CNN international correspondent said. That follows what had been weeks of fresh interactions between the North and South – and hints of new diplomatic engagement between the Koreas and the US.

Despite the apparent progress, US officials have mostly remained cautious.

Asked if the announcement was about talks with North Korea, Trump reportedly said “It’s almost beyond that.”

“Hopefully, you will give me credit,” Trump said, according to ABC News journalist Meredith McGraw.

A senior US official reportedly said that the announcement would include an invitation from Kim Jong-un to meet with Trump, according to Fox News national security correspondent Jennifer Griffin. The senior US official added that Kim Jong-un indicated a commitment to stop nuclear and missile testing.

Chung Eui-yong and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon arrived to Washington, DC this week to brief their counterparts, national security adviser H.R. McMaster and CIA director Mike Pompeo on new diplomatic overtures from North Korea.

Their talks followed an unprecedented face-to-face meeting with Kim Jong-un, where they discussed the possibility of future talks with the US. The meeting helped establish a rough outline of a possible summit meeting between North and South Korea in April – the third summit since the Korean War.

“The most urgent issue is to make sure the United States and North Korea will engage in talks,” Chung said on Wednesday.

Following North Korea’s recent calls for peace, South Korean President Moon Jae-in indicated his administration was proceeding with caution against the North.

“As this is just the beginning, I believe we are not at a situation yet where we can be optimistic,” Moon said this week.