North Korea's Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump will meet by May to secure a deal to remove nuclear weapons from the Korean peninsula, a senior South Korean official said after talks at the White House.
"I told President Trump that at our meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he's committed to denuclearisation," South Korean National Security Advisor Chung Eui-yong said after returning from a recent visit to Pyongyang.
"Kim pledged that North Korea will refrain from any further nuclear or missile tests," he told reporters, in an extraordinary appearance on the White House driveway.
"President Trump appreciated the briefing, and said he would meet Kim Jong Un by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation."
He added: "South Korea, the US and our many partners around the world remain fully and resolutely committed to the complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
"Along with President Trump we are optimistic about continuing a diplomatic process to test the possibility of a peaceful resolution.
"South Korea, the US and our many partners stand together in insisting that we not repeat the mistakes of the past, and that the pressure will continue until North Korea matches his words with concrete actions."
The White House confirmed that Trump has agreed to meet with North Korea's Kim to seek a deal on denuclearisation, while stressing US sanctions will remain in place.
"President Trump greatly appreciates the nice words of the South Korean delegation and President Moon," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement following the announcement made by South Korea.
"He will accept the invitation to meet with Kim Jong Un at a place and time to be determined. We look forward to the denuclearisation of North Korea. In the meantime, all sanctions and maximum pressure must remain."
Trump's aides have been wary of North Korea's diplomatic overtures because of its history of reneging on international commitments.
Chung and National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon flew to Washington earlier on Thursday to explain North Korea's stance on possible future talks with Washington and the prospect of Pyongyang suspending nuclear tests if the security of the North's government is assured.
Earlier Thursday, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that though "talks about talks" might be possible with Pyongyang, denuclearization negotiations were likely a long way off.