Talks Underway in Secret to Prepare for Coming US-NKorea Summit
The US and NKorea are engaged in secret and direct talks to prepare for a summit between President Donald Trump and NKorean leader Kim Jong Un.
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Mike Pompeo, who President Trump has tapped to be his Secretary of the State, has been working through intelligence back-channels to prepare for the historic Summit.
Should Mr. Pompeo be confirmed as Secretary of State, he will oversee the diplomatic preparations.
Officials from the US and NKorea have spoken several times so far.
The invitation extended to President Trump by Kim was conveyed through a SKorean envoy. Though NKorea has refrained from publicly announcing the invitation, officials say NKorea has said President Trump has accepted.
The NKoreans have reaffirmed Kim is willing to talk about denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
NKorean officials indicated they wanted to hold the Summit in their capital of Pyongyang. It is not certain if President Trump would be willing to meet there, and the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar has also been mentioned as a possibility.
Talks are underway for Mr. Pompeo to 1st meet with his NKorean counterpart. Once they agree upon a location for the Summit, officials will then work on targeting a date and setting the agenda for the talks.
Officials are eyeing late May or June for the Summit to take place.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to deliver to President Trump a list of concerns about beginning a dialogue with Kim in a meeting with the President in 2 weeks.
The Chinese also have given the White House a briefing of a meeting between President Xi Jinping and Kim last month.
Former US Ambassador to the UN John Bolton is expected to play a role in the talks along with Mr. Pompeo.