US, NK Officials Directly Talking About Plans for Summit

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.

Read alsoChina says North Korea pledges denuclearization during friendly visit - mediaCentral Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and a team at the CIA have been working through intelligence back-channels to make preparations for the summit, the officials said.

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.

According to the officials, the North Koreans are pushing to hold the meeting in Pyongyang, although it was unclear whether the White House would be willing.

North Korean officials were rumored to be floating its capital, Pyongyang, as a meeting ground, CNN reported.

Last week, Trump told associates that he was looking forward to the summit, which he agreed to on the spot when presented the invitation from Kim.

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The North Koreans want the meeting to take place in their capital, Pyongyang.

South Korea's presidential office said that the country's defense and foreign ministers and some other senior officials visited Panmunjom together on Friday.

US officials were anxious South Korea may have hyped up Kim's openness to putting a denuclearization plan on the table.

According to CNN, U.S. and North Korean intelligence officials "have spoken several times and have even met in a third country" to discuss the venue of the first-ever summit between the United States and North Korea. South Korea's National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon has been in close contact with his United States and North Korean counterparts. The Koreas have to also decide how many times Kim and Moon would meet on April 27 and whether parts of the summit would be broadcast on live television.

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

  • Megan Austin