Sunday, 16 June, 2019

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

Trump could cause more harm than good in talks with Kim Trump could cause more harm than good in talks with Kim
Deanna Wagner | 09 April, 2018, 00:46

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are expected to meet before the end of May to talk about denuclearizing the regime.

The liberal Moon Jae-in administration has been pushing for dialogue with the North, in efforts to achieve denuclearization as well as the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and the CIA team have been operating through intelligence back-channels to make arrangements for the summit, the CNN news channel reported.

The officials from the South and the North also met on Thursday to discuss security, protocol and other issues in preparation for the summit.

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

Officials said the current target is late May or even June, according to CNN.

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"While the press has reported that North Korea is willing to negotiate their nuclear programme, this is not exactly what North Korea said".

Analysts echoed that the efforts show that the United States intelligence agencies are taking the lead for summit preparations, but expressed skepticism whether such moves were headed by the North's Reconnaissance General Bureau, which deals with clandestine operations against South Korea.

South Korea had conveyed a message from Kim indicating his willingness to pause his nuclear program during talks, but the USA had not previously confirmed Kim's intentions directly from North Korea.

China and Russian Federation are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, which has imposed sanctions on North Korea in a bid to force negotiations with Pyongyang.

CNN said that once they agree upon a location for the summit, officials will then work on targeting a date and setting the agenda for the talks.

Working-level officials need to determine how Kim would arrive at the southern side of the border village for the summit.