The White House is continuing its push to temper expectations around a potential face-to-face meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un -- insisting that the US will not negotiate any concessions until Pyongyang takes concrete steps toward dismantling its nuclear and missile programs.
Trump immediately touted North Korea’s pledge over the weekend to suspend its nuclear and missile tests as a sign of "progress," but on Monday, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders emphasized that the US is "not naive in this process" and is "not going to make mistakes from previous administrations."
"We’re not going to take the North Koreans at their word. The maximum pressure campaign is going to continue until" there are concrete steps toward denuclearization," she said. "We’re not na?ve in this process. We’ve seen some steps in the right direction but we have a long way to go."
Kim said on Friday that North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons is "complete" and it "no longer needs" to test its weapons capability -- a significant development ahead of diplomatic engagement with South Korea and the United States.
The announcement appeared to signify a remarkable change in policy for Kim following a relentless pursuit of nuclear and ballistic weapons as a means to ensure his regime’s survival.