US, N Korea Hold Talks Via CIA Channels Ahead of Trump-Kim Meeting - Reports

US President Donald Trump said that he was looking forward to meeting Kim Jong Un, with the North Korean leader confirming a willingness to maintain a dialogue with Washington.

The United States and North Korea are holding secret, direct talks ahead of the planned summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the media reported.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and the CIA team have been operating through intelligence back-channels to make arrangements for the summit, the CNN news channel reported. 

READ MORE: Trump Looking Forward to Meeting Kim, But in Meantime Wants 'Maximum Pressure'

North Korean intelligence officials along with their American colleagues have met several times to determine where talks should be held, considering the Mongolian capital Ulaanbaatar as an option, according to CNN.

The North Koreans are insisting on having the meeting in their capital, Pyongyang, although it is unclear whether the White House wants to hold the talks there, the sources said.

The CIA has refused to comment on the meeting, according to an official representative.

READ MORE: US-S Korea Military Drills Impede Holding Talks With Pyongyang — Russian Envoy

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Earlier in March, Kim spoke about his intention to normalize relations with Washington during a meeting with a South Korean delegation in Pyongyang, noting that his final goal was to sign a peace agreement with the US and establish diplomatic ties, possibly including the opening of a US Embassy in Pyongyang.

On March 9, Trump accepted the invitation to meet with Kim by the end of May following months of heightened tensions and exchanges of frequent military threats between the two leaders. Donald Trump later said that he expected "tremendous success" in solving the North Korean issue, saying that he expected Pyongyang to cease its ballistic missile and nuclear tests, as well as ultimately denuclearize completely.

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