Asian stocks closed higher on Friday following news that U.S. President Donald Trump had agreed to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The move also tracked moderate gains seen on Wall Street following the implementation of U.S. metals tariffs.
President Donald Trump would meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by May, South Korean National Security Office chief Chung Eui-yong said. South Korean envoys had hand-delivered a letter from Kim to Trump on Thursday U.S. time.
The meeting was confirmed by the White House and in a subsequent tweet by Trump, who said that "great" progress was being made. He added that sanctions would "remain until an agreement is reached."
The Trump administration's acceptance of North Korea's invitation sets in motion the most significant development in years of intermittent negotiations about the North's nuclear weapons program.
Still, experts were ambivalent on whether or not the meeting, the details of which have not been confirmed, would result in anything substantial on the matter of denuclearization.
Japan's Nikkei 225 closed higher by 0.47 percent at 21,469.20 after earlier recording gains of more than 2 percent on the news. The broader Topix index gained 0.32 percent.
Meanwhile, South Korea's Kospi advanced 1.08 percent to close at 2,459.45 as tourism-related stocks got a boost from the latest geopolitical development. Retailer Lotte Shopping jumped 7.09 percent and cosmetics company Amorepacific advanced 4.45 percent.
Against the safe-haven yen, the dollar rose 0.5 percent to trade at 106.72.