Kim Jong-un makes first official mention of United States talks

U.S. confirms North Korea's Kim Jong Un willing to talk denuclearization official says

Trump has disparaged the North Korean leader through Twitter since entering the White House.

The main issue at the summit will be North Korea's nuclear program.

He also delivered a report on developments around the Korean peninsula, including the separate summit with South Korea to be held later this month, KCNA said.

But Pyongyang has been silent publicly since then about a summit, even as Kim visited Beijing last month in his first visit outside North Korea since assuming control of the country after his father, Kim Jong Il, died in 2011. During previous negotiations under different USA administrations, the North has agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of worldwide economic sanctions, only to violate the agreement by testing more weapons.

If the talks go ahead, it would be the first time a sitting United States president has met a North Korean leader.

But the talk of phased and synchronized measures triggered concerns that it may herald a setback to the implementation of a potential package deal, which is sought by the US and South Korea, given the secretive regime's track record of reneging on previous agreements that followed a "word-for-word" and "action-for-action" approach. Before that, Washington had relied mostly on South Korea's assurances of Kim's intentions. However, he was eager to engage with the authoritarian Kim Jong-un once the possibility of a meeting between the two was raised. "But it would have been a lot easier if it were done five years ago, 10 years ago, 20 years ago", Trump said.

Following multiple media reports of back-channel talks between the Cold War rivals, Trump said on Monday he planned to meet Kim in 'May or early June'. He would also likely insist that the United States end its commitment to "extended deterrence" in South Korea and Japan - its threat of nuclear retaliation if its allies in Asia come under attack from North Korea.

North Korea has been seeking to develop a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the US mainland. The unprecedented meeting was arranged through a group of South Korean envoys who met with Kim in Pyongyang last month.

No specifics have yet emerged concerning the date or venue, with a 3rd country such as Mongolia or Sweden reportedly under consideration to host the talks.

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