President Donald Trump has agreed to a historic first meeting with Kim Jong Un in a stunning development in America’s high-stakes nuclear standoff with North Korea.

Standing in front of the White House, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong announced the first ever meeting between a US president and North Korean leader, which he said would take place by the end of May.

Chung had recently returned from Pyongyang, where he met Kim, who, he said “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.”

Trump hailed “great progress” in the push to persuade Pyongyang to end its nuclear weapons program.

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“Meeting being planned!” he tweeted. “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.”

News of the summit is the latest step in a quickening diplomatic detente that has seen North and South Korea exchange envoys.

Pyongyang also sent a delegation to the Winter Olympics in the South, which Seoul had dubbed the “Peace Games” and which saw the two countries marching under a unified flag.

The thaw came after a period of extreme tension between Washington and Pyongyang that sounded like the growing drumbeat of war.

The United States and North Korea were foes throughout the Cold War and fought on opposite sides of a bloody war in the 1950s.

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