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North Korea will discuss denuclearization, United States official says

09 April 2018

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

But the fact that the USA has confirmed North Korea's willingness to even discuss denuclearization is a positive step toward the Trump-Kim meeting actually taking place, and suggests they are communicating directly in preparation for it.

South Korea's presidential office said on Sunday (April 08) while they can not confirm whether such secret talks have been taking place, it is a certainly a "good sign" in paving the way for what would be the first summit between North Korea and the US.

During that visit Kim was reported by Beijing as having committed to denuclearisation. There was no immediate word on the possible venue for the talks, which would be the first ever between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader.

The 2 Koreas earlier agreed that their leaders will use the hotline before they hold a summit on April 27th. The countries will hold at least one more meeting on these issues to discuss the summit's agenda.

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

South Korean media have speculated whether Kim, who has a flair for the dramatic, would cross the Military Demarcation Line that bisects the countries in a symbolic gesture of peace.

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The rivals agreed to set up a hotline between the offices of Kim and Moon in March when Moon's envoys visited Kim in Pyongyang. President Trump hailed that meeting as a sign of optimism that the dictator would keep up his end of the bargain of halting his nuclear weapon program ahead of a potential summit.

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Until now, Washington had relied mostly on ally South Korea's assurance of Kim's intentions.

Trump has frequently lambasted North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile tests, referring to Kim as "Little Rocket Man".

The North a year ago tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three intercontinental ballistic missiles created to strike the continental United States. "We don't want an irresponsible actor to have nuclear weapons".

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".

North Korea will discuss denuclearization, United States official says