South Korea says Trump will meet North Korea's Kim by May

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- South Korea's national security director says President Donald Trump has decided he will meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un "by May."

Chung Eui-yong spoke outside the White House after a day of briefings with senior U.S. officials, including Trump, on the recent inter-Korea talks. Chung says Trump said "he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearization" of the Korean peninsula.

The White House says President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held "at a place and time to be determined."

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement saying Trump "will accept the invitation to meet with" Kim.

She also says Trump "greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation" and President Moon Jae-in. She adds that the U.S. looks "forward to the denuclearization of North Korea," but says all sanctions will remain in place in the meantime.

Chung says Kim told the South Koreans he is "committed to denuclearization" and pledged that "North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests."

The meeting would be the first of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting president of the United States. The two countries have been in a formal state of war since the Korean War in the 1950s.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he plans to visit the U.S. to hold talks with President Trump in April.

He told reporters in Tokyo on Friday morning that he had spoken with Trump on the phone, and they had agreed to continue putting maximum pressure on North Korea until it takes concrete steps toward giving up its nuclear weapons program.

Abe says there is no change in that position.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has spoken Abe about President Donald Trump's decision to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Tillerson is in Ethiopia, where the surprise announcement came in the middle of the night. Only hours before, Tillerson had said the U.S. was a "long ways from negotiations" with the North and the State Department said the U.S. was not going to schedule talks "at this point."