U-S President Trump will meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

The White House said President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will be held "at a place and time to be determined.''

White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders released a statement after a South Korean official broke the stunning news. 

Sanders said Trump "will accept the invitation to meet with'' Kim.

She also said Trump "greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation'' and President Moon Jae-in

She added that the U.S. looks "forward to the denuclearization of North Korea,'' but says all sanctions will remain in place in the meantime.

Trump's hastily reached decision to accept Kim's invitation for a meeting sent White House staff scrambling to prepare a public announcement.

Trump appeared in the White House briefing room shortly after 5 p.m. to tease the news, saying the South Korean government would make a "statement'' two hours later.

Trump had wanted the statement to come from the White House press room, but aides moved it outside the West Wing, enabling a foreign official to break the historic news.

White House aides said they were unable to immediately provide additional information because they were not involved in the decision, which was entirely Trump's.

The South Korean national security adviser made the roughly 2-minute announcement after nightfall near the entrance to the West Wing.

The meeting would be the first of its kind between a leader of North Korea and a sitting president of the United States. 

The two countries have been in a formal state of war since the Korean War in the 1950s. 

 

 

-Files from The Associated Press