Korea seeks summit with Trump in Pyongyang

Glen Norman
April 9, 2018

US 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.

Citing several officials from the Trump administration, CNN reported Saturday that the United States and North Korea have been holding secret, direct talks using intelligence backchannels between the two countries' top intelligence agencies.

CNN reports that Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is also being considered as a potential meeting place.

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

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

"It's likely that Kim Jongun comes with an alternate significance in mind", Abraham Denmark, a former senior US defense official claimed, noting a possible denuclearization deal seems to be contingent on the USA generating the most suitable conditions.

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

Regarding scepticism in Washington on the possibility of the North dismantling its nukes, Adams said the North Korean leader has asserted his willingness to denuclearize and to refrain from additional nuclear and missile test, and that he understands South Korea-U.S. joint military drills will continue as scheduled.

The prospective summit, which would be an historical first, is likely to take place within weeks - in late May or in June, the officials said. North Korea had relayed that proposal to the U.S., according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

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.

The meeting at the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom lasted for about three hours. 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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