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North Korea will discuss denuclearization, U.S. official says

09 April 2018, 12:23 | Marta Robbins

North Korea will discuss denuclearization, U.S. official says

Koreas Discuss Installing Hotline Ahead of Summit

"The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", a U.S. official told the Wall Street Journal 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.

Central Intelligence Agency head Mike Pompeo and his team have been using intelligence back-channels to make preparations for the summit between Trump and the North Korean leader.

Washington stunned observers when it announced last month it had agreed to a historic first meeting between Trump and Kim to be held by the end of May.

USA and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently in which Pyongyang directly confirmed its willingness to hold the unprecedented summit, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Talks are reportedly underway for Pompeo to first meet with his North Korean counterpart.

Topping the agenda during the secret talks between the USA and North Korea was nailing down the location of the summit, with venues in a third country emerging as a strong candidate amid the skepticism about the meeting taking place either in Pyongyang or Washington.

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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.

American and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times and have even met in a third country, with a focus on nailing down a location for the talks.

South Korean emissaries, in a visit to the White House last month, had presented Kim's invitation to meet with Trump, who quickly agreed.

I don't think there's much of a chance that the meeting will take place in the North Korean capital.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon has been in close contact with his United States and North Korean counterparts, reported Korea Herald.

The meeting is tentatively scheduled for late May or early June. It is more likely that the North's United Front Department would be in charge...



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