Secret, direct talks underway to prepare for Trump-Kim summit

Apr 09, 2018, 00:51
Secret, direct talks underway to prepare for Trump-Kim summit

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.

State Department officials - Assistant Secretary Susan Thornton and deputy special representative for North Korean policy Mark Lambert - continue to communicate with the North Koreans though their mission to the United Nations, discussions which are referred to as the "New York channel".

CNN quoted USA officials as saying that the summit will be held at the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar - a proposal that North Korea has already relayed to the U.S., according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

The preparations for the Trump-Kim summit are reported to be made through the channel that runs between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

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Although Trump tweeted on March 28 he was looking forward to the meeting, expressing, "there's just a good chance that Kim Jong Un will perform what is ideal for his people and also for humanity", many economists also have expressed doubt about the close program's aims.

The confirmation offers the USA greater assurances that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is committed to a potential meeting with U.S. president Donald Trump by the end of next month.

The announcement comes after a year of tension between the U.S., North Korea and South Korea.

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"It's a natural step in the right direction".

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She added, "But we're going into this very cautiously, very much knowing that he's looked at the Iran deal, he's seen what he can get and he's seen how he can push through loopholes, and we're not going to let that happen again".

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

They said: "We caution the public to understand that North Korea views its nuclear programme to be sacrosanct and will likely not give it up, no matter what they say during any negotiations".

CNN cited sources saying that Ulan Bator in Mongolia has been suggested as a possible neutral location for the meeting, although the North Koreans have been pushing to hold the talks in their capital, Pyongyang.

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

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