North Korea has to make good on 'promises' before meeting with Trump: White House

March 11, 2018, 2:00 PM

A White House spokesperson said Sunday that North Korea must uphold three “promises” for the meeting between its leader and President Donald Trump to actually take place.

White House deputy press secretary Raj Shah told ABC News Chief White House Correspondent Jonathan Karl on “This Week” Sunday that North Korea's stated promises are, "They cannot engage in missile testing, they cannot engage in nuclear testing and they can’t publicly object to the U.S.-South Korea planned military exercises."

PHOTO: Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah holds a news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 2018.
Principal Deputy Press Secretary Raj Shah holds a news conference at the White House in Washington, D.C., Feb. 8, 2018.
Michael Reynolds/EPA-EFE via REX/Shutterstock

As to the possibility of Kim Jong Un going further after the Trump meeting and ending his nation's nuclear program, Shah said the North Korean leader has “stated his commitment to denuclearization" in his conversations with South Korean officials.

“Kim Jong Un is the only partner in North Korea that has any authority, that can make any decisions. So he’s the only voice, he is committed to -- or stated a commitment to denuclearization to South Korea, they’ve relayed that to us, and so we’re open to this invitation,” Shah said.

At the White House Thursday night, South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-Yong announced that President Trump had accepted an invitation from Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Un in a matter of months.

Following the announcement, Trump took to Twitter to say the meeting is being planned.

On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said, "We're not going to let this meeting take place unless we see concrete actions" by North Korea.

Karl asked Shah on Sunday, "Are there preconditions" to the meeting?

Shah responded, "No." He reiterated that Kim Jong Un's regime has "to meet the promises" it relayed to South Korea, but added, "This potential meeting has been agreed to. There are no additional conditions being stipulated."

Asked if there was any chance the plans for the meeting may blow up, Shah said, “There’s the possibility. If it does, it’s the North Koreans’ fault, they have not lived up to the promises that they made.”

Shah's comments supported what a senior White House official told ABC News Friday evening -- that the White House is fully expecting the meeting to move forward.

PHOTO: People cheer as a missile is driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other high ranking officials during a military parade in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.
People cheer as a missile is driven past the stand with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and other high ranking officials during a military parade marking the 105th birth anniversary of country's founding father Kim Il Sung, in Pyongyang, April 15, 2017.
Damir Sagolj/Reuters, FILE

It has not yet been determined where or when the two leaders would meet.

Asked by Karl if the president would be open to hosting Kim Jong Un at the White House, Shah said it hasn't been ruled out.

He also said that it is not "highly likely" that Trump would go to North Korea for the meeting, but added, "I'm not going to rule anything out."

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