North Korea has "agreed to denuclearize" as a condition for meeting with President Donald Trump — and "we won't have a meeting until we see concrete actions that match the words and rhetoric" of dictator Kim Jong Un, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Friday.
"They have to follow through on the promises that they made," Sanders told reporters at the daily briefing. "We want to see concrete and verifiable action on that front."
She beat back questions on whether, under such conditions, Trump might not meet with Kim by May, as South Korean officials announced Thursday.
"The president has accepted that invitation on the basis that we have concrete and verifiable steps," Sanders said.
President Trump agreed to meet with Kim to discuss denuclearization — and would halt its weapons testing in the meantime — South Korean National Security Adviser Chung Eui-yong said outside the White House.
Trump later tweeted that Kim "talked about denuclearization" with the South, "not just a freeze," and that "no missile testing" would be done by Pyongyang "during this period of time."
Sanders on Friday repeatedly reiterated Trump's position to reporters — and said that the administration was making "zero concessions" in meeting with Kim.
"Let's not forget that the North Koreans did promise something," she said. "They promised to denuclearize. They have promised to stop nuclear and missile testing.
"They have recognized that we're going to continue in our military exercises.
"Let's be very clear: The United States has made zero concessions, but North Korea has made some promises.
"And, again, this meeting won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea."
Responding to questions about Pyongyang's failed assurances of the past, Sanders noted that now "the United States is going to continue that maximum-pressure campaign.
"We are making no concessions.
"We are not going to move forward until we see concrete and verified actions taking place by North Korea.
"We are also operating from a position of strength that we haven't had in previous administrations due to the maximum-pressure campaign not just by the United States."
She said that other nations — South Korea, China, Japan, among them — have "done infinitely more over the past year due to the president's leadership than they have in the previous administrations.
"This is a collective effort to put that pressure on North Korea," she added. "It will continue.
"North Korea is in a place of weakness — and that is certainly recognized by the promises that they have made through this conversation."
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