DHAKA: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has invited Donald Trump to meet him, an unprecedented overture which the US leader has said he will accept, reports BBC.
The shock announcement was made by senior South Korean officials in Washington, who passed on a letter from the North Korean leader.
They said Kim had also agreed to halt nuclear and missile tests and was "committed to denuclearisation".
It appears to be a major breakthrough after months of threats and violence.
However analysts warn that such summits are usually the result of years of careful diplomacy so remain sceptical about what these rapidly arranged talks can achieve.
Trump said the development was "great progress" but that sanctions will remain in place until a firm agreement is reached.
North Korea has not yet issued any official comment on the week's developments.
South Korean National security adviser Chung Eui-yong, speaking outside the White House after the meeting, said: "I told President Trump that at our meeting North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said he's committed to denuclearisation."
He added: "President Trump appreciated the briefing, and said he would meet Kim Jong-un by May to achieve permanent denuclearisation."
The North has halted missile and nuclear tests during previous talks before, only to resume when it lost patience or felt it was not getting what it demanded.
The last point is also significant. The US has had tens of thousands of military personnel in South Korea since the end of the Korea War. The massive annual joint war games infuriate the North, because it believes they are preparation for invasion.
No sitting US president has ever met a North Korean leader, but there have been repeated attempts to get North Korea to denuclearise.
The last major effort - the Six Party talks - collapsed in 2008, largely because North Korea refused to allow inspectors to verify that it had shut down its nuclear programme.
A number of bids to restart the talks also collapsed, including in 2012 when North Korea launched another rocket, two weeks after announcing a "leap day" agreement with the US.
BDST: 1102 HRS, MAR 9, 2018