Secret talks underway to prepare for Trump-Kim summit

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"The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula‎", said a second U.S. official.

North Korea has told the United States for the first time it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula when Kim Jong-un meets Donald Trump, a U.S. official said on Sunday.

Analysts echoed that the efforts show that the USA 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.

Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia, is another possible place to hold the meeting.

The proposed meeting has been read as a sign of easing tensions, but it is not clear what will emerge from a meeting between the two leaders. It is the first time the offer was made directly to Washington, after it was previously conveyed through South Korean national security adviser Chung Eui-yong. -North Korea relationship, the administration's maximum-pressure campaign continues and that sanctions "must be maintained at all cost".

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Former Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, who awaits Congressional confirmation for his appointment as a secretary of state.

"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.

Some analysts have said Trump's willingness to meet Kim handed North Korea a diplomatic win, as the United States had insisted for years that any such summit be preceded by North Korean steps to denuclearize. North Korea had relayed that proposal to the USA, according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

The Chinese government has briefed the White House after a meeting in Beijing between Mr Kim and President Xi Jinping late last month.

Cliff Kupchan, chairman of Eurasia Group risk consultancy, said North Korea's reported commitment to discuss "de-nuclearisation" significantly increases the chances that Mr Trump will meet Mr Kim.