Secret Talks Underway to Prepare for N. Korea-US Summit
Apr 09 2018
North Korea has told the U.S. 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.
CNN on Saturday quoted multiple government officials familiar with the discussions as saying that the talks are a sign that planning for the highly anticipated meeting is progressing.
Last month, China said it won a pledge from Kim, who was on a surprise visit to Beijing for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping, to denuclearize the Korean peninsula.
American and North Korean officials have spoken several times and have met in a third country to settle on the summit's location, administration officials say - with Kim pushing for a Pyongyang meeting and the US looking for a neutral site like Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia.
US officials revealed to CNN reporters that North Korea has not only acknowledged the president's acceptance of Kim's unexpected invitation, but the rogue regime has also stated that it is willing to talk about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, although there is a strong possibility that the two sides have a very different understanding of what is actually on the table. A date will be set once the two sides can agree on a location.
South Korean emissaries, in a visit to the White House last month, had presented Kim's invitation to meet with Trump, who quickly agreed.
The North Koreans want the meeting to take place in their capital, Pyongyang.
North Korea has confirmed directly to the Trump administration that it is willing to negotiate with the United States over potential denuclearisation, administration officials said.
The 2 Koreas earlier agreed that their leaders will use the hotline before they hold a summit on April 27th.
The U.S. State Department has been communicating with the North Koreans through their mission at the United Nations, CNN also said.
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 US via a South Korean envoy.