Korean missile crisis

Trump to meet with North Korea's lead nuclear negotiator

Trump and Kim Yong-chol.
Trump and Kim Yong-chol in June 2018. Photo: Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images

President Trump will meet with Kim Jong-un’s lead negotiator in nuclear talks Friday in the Oval Office to discuss getting North Korea to a “fully verified denuclearization,” according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders.

Why it matters: The meeting comes amid speculation the two sides are seeking to lay the groundwork for a possible second summit between Trump and Kim. Despite North Korea pledging it would work toward a “complete denuclearization” after the first summit, little progress has been made.

The year in North Korea with Trump and "Little Rocket Man"

Illustration of three cups and under one is a nuclear warhead.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

When President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their historic summit in Singapore this June, they signed a statement that they would "work toward a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula."

The big picture: Negotiations have stalled. North Korea is not making a good faith effort to live up to its promises, and the regime has even drawn up its own preconditions for denuclearization that may prove impossible to meet.

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