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White House says North Korea is willing to talk denuclearization

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un are expected to meet before the end of May to talk about denuclearizing the regime.

According to CNN, the talks between the United States and North Korea's intelligence officials are aimed at laying the ground for a meeting between Pompeo and the head of the North's Reconnaissance General Bureau, whose identity has not been confirmed.

Officials told the network that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Trump has nominated to be secretary of State, has been leading back-channel talks for the summit, which is slated for May.

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 NY.

Since then, the North Korean leader has reaffirmed his commitment to discussing denuclearization as well as his willingness to hold summit talks with the South Korean and US presidents.

Nonpublic discussion of Trump's meeting with Kim Jong-Un is being conducted "at full pelt".

The prospective summit, which would be an historical first, is likely to take place within weeks - in late May or in June, the officials said.

Until now, Washington had relied on South Korea's assurance of Kim's intentions.

White House officials have not said where the Trump-Kim summit will be held.

Analysts echoed that the efforts show that the United States 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. "What we will see next is the exchanges of presidential envoys between the U.S. and North Korea".

Mr Trump is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in late April, with the North Korea negotiations at the top of their agenda.

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

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