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Report: US Talks Secretly With North Korea Ahead Of Trump’s Meeting With Kim Jong Un

REUTERS/KCNA handout via Reuters/File Photo & REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

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Ryan Pickrell China/Asia Pacific Reporter

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.

In addition to back-channel discussions, American and North Korean officials have also met in a third country to hammer out the specifics for the unprecedented summit, CNN reported. The CIA has been using intelligence channels while the State Department has been in contact with North Korea by way of the North Korean mission to the United Nations in New York.

Kim, relying on South Korean diplomats to relay the message, requested a meeting with Trump in March, and the president accepted. Since then, Pyongyang has yet to say anything publicly about the meeting. Behind the scenes, both sides are apparently scrambling to prepare for the meeting.

U.S. officials revealed to CNN reporters that North Korea has not only acknowledged the president’s acceptance of Kim’s unexpected invitation, but the rogue regime has also stated that it is willing to talk about denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, although there is a strong possibility that the two sides have a very different understanding of what is actually on the table.

U.S. and North Korean officials have reportedly been trying to nail down a location for the summit, with the North Koreans pushing for Pyongyang and the Americans calling for a more neutral location, like Ulaanbaatar in Mongolia. A date will be set once the two sides can agree on a location. U.S. officials are apparently shooting for late May or possibly June.

Kim recently returned from a surprise trip to China, his first official state visit to a foreign country, and he is expected to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the end of April.

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