Moscow and Beijing have voiced their support for the upcoming meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Russia’s foreign minister hailed the development as “a step in the right direction.”

Kim and Trump

Kim and Trump Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

The White House’s announcement about US President Donald Trump accepting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s offer to meet is taking the world by surprise. The unprecedented development, which is being hailed as a historic step toward reducing the tensions between the two nations, has also been welcomed by Russia and China.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, who is currently in Africa, was quoted by the TASS news agency on Friday as saying that Moscow views the move as “a step in the right direction.” A spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry said that Beijing believes that the plan for the unprecedented encounter, slated for May, is a positive sign. European countries have not yet commented on the development.

On Friday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson stated that Trump himself made the decision to accept Kim’s invitation and that it was “something he’s had on his mind for quite some time.” Seoul’s national security adviser personally delivered Kim’s invitation to Trump after a South Korean delegation visited Pyongyang earlier this week. In a short statement he delivered outside of the White House, South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong said that Kim told the delegation that he is “committed to denuclearization” and “will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests.”

Chung added that Kim “expressed his eagerness to meet President Trump as soon as possible.” Moments later, the White House made its announcement about Trump’s decision to accept Kim’s offer. “He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong-un at a place and time to be determined,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.