Secret, direct talks underway to prepare for Trump-Kim summit

Katrina Barker
April 9, 2018

North Korea has told the USA for the first time it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula when Kim Jong-un meets Donald Trump, a United States official said on Sunday.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and the CIA team have been operating through intelligence back-channels to make arrangements for the summit, the CNN news channel reported.

Trump agreed to meet with Kim after a South Korean envoy extended Kim's invitation to the president last month.

North Koreans officials have reportedly indicated they wanted to hold the summit in their capital of Pyongyang, but the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar has also been mentioned as a possibility.

The North Koreans are pushing to have the meeting in their capital, Pyongyang, although it is unclear whether the White House would be willing to hold the talks there. The CIA has been using intelligence channels while the State Department has been in contact with North Korea by way of the North Korean mission to the United Nations in NY.

Officials said the current target is late May or even June, according to CNN.

"The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula‎", said a second U.S. official.

Trump informed about the preparations to the meeting with the leader of the North Korea on March 9.

Whether or not Kim had genuinely offered to discuss dismantling his nuclear program was a key question surrounding his offer to meet Trump, made in March and conveyed to the USA via a South Korean envoy. US officials are apparently shooting for late May or possibly June.

She said the U.S.is deeply concerned about the state of North Korean citizens' well-being. The Koreas have to also decide how many times Kim and Moon would meet on April 27 and whether parts of the summit would be broadcast on live television.

The working-level talks began on Saturday morning at a facility on the North side.

North Korea was "suffocating" under global sanctions, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said on Thursday, adding, "They need an out".

Other reports by AllAboutTopnews

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