US confirms Pyongyang willingness to discuss denuclearization

Monday, 2018-04-09 06:55:56
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US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un are expected to meet before the end of May.
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The United States has confirmed that the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) is willing to talk about abandoning its nuclear weapons program during a bilateral summit next month, the White House said on April 8.

The two sides have also been holding secret talks in preparation for the historic meeting, according to a National Security Council spokesperson who spoke to Yonhap on condition of anonymity.

US President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong-un are expected to meet before the end of May to talk about denuclearizing the regime. The summit would follow a year of heightened tensions and heated rhetoric between the two leaders over Pyongyang's testing of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles capable of reaching the US mainland.

Kim told the Republic of Korea (RoK) officials last month that he was committed to denuclearization and hoping to meet with Trump as soon as possible. The US president accepted the invite, but there was no direct word from Pyongyang on its offer.

US media outlets reported over the weekend that DPRK has told the US it is ready to talk about giving up its nuclear weapons program. US Central Intelligence Agency chief Mike Pompeo, who has been tapped to be the new US secretary of state, has been leading back-channel meetings with the DPRK officials in preparation for the summit, the reports said.

The venue and date of the meeting have yet to be set.

Kim made an unannounced visit to Beijing last month to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and is due to hold an April 27 summit with RoK President Moon Jae-in on the southern side of the inter-Korean Demilitarized Zone.

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