North Korea Hold Secret, Direct Talks

North Korea Hold Secret, Direct Talks

North Korea Hold Secret, Direct Talks

South Korea's presidential office said Sunday while they can not confirm whether such talks have been taking place, it is a certainly a "good sign" in paving the way for the high-stakes summit between North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump. The North has yet to officially confirm such intent or Kim's interest in meeting Trump.

Quoting various USA officials, the report said a team at the Central Intelligence Agency, led by its Director Mike Pompeo, has been working through back-channels to make arrangements for the high-profile talks.

US and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken a couple of times and even met in a third country, CNN reported.

North Koreans officials have reportedly indicated they wanted to hold the summit in their capital of Pyongyang, but the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar has also been mentioned as a possibility.

Analysts echoed that the efforts show that the U.S. 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. We'll see what happens.

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The talks were 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.

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.

South Korean emissaries, in a visit to the White House last month, had presented Kim's invitation to meet with Trump, who quickly agreed.

South Korea, which has shuttled between Pyongyang and Washington to set up the talks, said Kim had expressed willingness to talk about giving up nuclear weapons during his upcoming meetings with Moon and Trump.

Speaking at Duke University in North Carolina, Haley said, "When the president ends up speaking with Kim, the conversation has to be about denuclearizing".

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