North Korea ready to discuss denuclearization with US

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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.

American and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times and have even met in a third country, with a focus on nailing down a location for the talks.

North Korea has confirmed directly to the Trump administration that it is willing to negotiate with the United States over potential denuclearisation, administration officials said.

North Korea has told the United States for the first time that it is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula when North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets President Donald Trump, a us official said on Sunday.

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

The back-channel talks are the latest move in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.

In a separate report, a USA think-tank says North Korea may have started testing a new reactor.

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

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The meeting at the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom lasted for about three hours.

South Korea, which has shuttled in between Pyongyang and Washington to prepare the discussions, stated Kim had expressed openness to go over giving up nuclear weapons throughout his upcoming meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump, however North Korea had not supported such discussions until Sunday. However, he added that it does not make a positive outcome more likely. "What we will see next is the exchanges of presidential envoys between the United States and North Korea".

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.

"The US has confirmed that Kim Jong-un is willing to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", an administration official said.

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