U.S. confirms NK willingness to discuss denuclearization

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The U.S. and North Korea have reportedly been holding secret talks in preparation for President Donald Trump's meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, according to officials familiar with the discussions.

"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.

China, North Korea's only major ally and main economic lifeline, has been calling for a "dual suspension" of North Korean nuclear and missile activities in return for the United States and South Korea suspending their large-scale military exercises.

U.S. 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.

Matthew Pottinger, the top Asia official on the National Security Council, is also involved in co-ordinating the talks, and John Bolton, who will take over the role as Mr Trump's principal adviser on national security, is also expected to play a major role in planning the summit meeting.

As recently as this weekend, Trump told associates 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 announcement comes after a year of tension between the U.S., North Korea and South Korea.

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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.

The talks between intelligence officials are laying the groundwork for a meeting between Pompeo and his North Korea counterpart, the head of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, in advance of the leaders' summit.

Later this month (April), Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In are to hold what would be the three inter-Korean summit.

Topping the agenda during the secret talks between the United States and North Korea was nailing down the location of the summit, with venues in a third country emerging as a strong candidate amid the skepticism about the meeting taking place either in Pyongyang or Washington.

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