Kim Jong-Un insists to meet with Trump in Pyongyang

Charlene Craig
April 9, 2018

North Korea has said it is willing to discuss de-nuclearisation with the U.S., a Trump administration official said on Sunday, increasing the chances of an unprecedented summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States president.

Michael Pompeo, the U.S. Secretary of State, and the team from the Central Intelligence Agency are dealing with the preparations to the summit.

Kim (right) is open to discussing denuclearization during the historic meeting with Trump.

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The back-channel talks are the latest move in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.

While Trump is "looking forward to the summit", the schedule could be late May or even early June, CNN said.

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

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According to CNN, the talks between the USA and North Korea's intelligence officials are aimed at laying the ground for a meeting between Pompeo and the head of the North's Reconnaissance General Bureau, whose identity has not been confirmed. "It's an extension of the communication channels established by the three countries' top intelligence chiefs." said Hong Min, director of the North Korean studies division at the Korea Institute for National Unification.

Cliff Kupchan, chairman of Eurasia Group risk consultancy, said North Korea's reported commitment to discuss "de-nuclearisation" significantly increases the chances that Mr Trump will meet Mr Kim.

China and Russian Federation are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which has imposed sanctions on North Korea in a bid to force negotiations with Pyongyang. Trump, who has exchanged bellicose threats with Kim in the past year, surprised the world by quickly agreeing to meet Kim to discuss the crisis over Pyongyang's development of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States.

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CNN cited sources saying that Ulan Bator in Mongolia has been suggested as a possible neutral location for the meeting, although the North Koreans have been pushing to hold the talks in their capital, Pyongyang.

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