North, S.Korea hold talks ahead of summit

"The US has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula", an administration official said. The North has yet to officially confirm such intent or Kim's interest in meeting Trump.

Both sides have met several times in a third country to determine a location for the historic summit, United States officials told CNN.

USA and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently, in which Pyongyang directly delivered the message of its willingness to hold the summit, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The preparations for the Trump-Kim summit are reported to be made through the channel that runs between the Central Intelligence Agency and the Reconnaissance General Bureau.

The Journal report follows a CNN report on Saturday saying Washington and Pyongyang were in direct communication in secret to prepare for the upcoming summit between Kim and President TrumpDonald John TrumpBaldwin returns to "SNL" as Trump and admits presidency is just "a four- year cash grab" Maxine Waters: Republicans "intimidated" by Trump Trump: Pruitt "doing a great job" MORE.

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.

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North Korean officials were rumored to be floating its capital, Pyongyang, as a meeting ground, CNN reported.

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

Kim's offer to meet with Mr Trump, which a South Korean envoy conveyed last month, has not been publicly confirmed by the regimen.

Topping the agenda during the secret talks between the United States and North Korea was nailing down the location of the summit, with venues in a third country emerging as a strong candidate amid the skepticism about the meeting taking place either in Pyongyang or Washington.

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

Later this month (April), Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae In are to hold what would be the three inter-Korean summit.

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