16:40 GMT08 April 2020
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    Pyongyang reportedly insisted that the clause regarding basketball players be included in the joint statement on denuclearisation to be made by the US and North Korea.

    As the governments of North Korea and the United States continue negotiating towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, it turns out that North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un requested the US send “famous basketball players” to help normalise relations between Pyongyang and Washington, ABC News reports, citing two US government officials.

    The leader of the DPRK Kim Jong-un arrived in Vladivostok
    © Sputnik / Vitaly Ankov
    According to the media outlet, the officials claimed that the request was made in writing "as part of the cultural exchange between the two countries", and that North Korea even insisted at one point that the request should be included in the joint statement on denuclearisation.

    "While we did not reach an agreement with the DPRK [North Korea] at Hanoi, we exchanged detailed positions and narrowed the gap on a number of issues", a State Department official said.

    Pyongyang also requested an exchange of orchestras between the two countries, the media outlet added.

    The February summit in Hanoi witnessed the stalling of denuclearisation talks between the United States and North Korea.

    READ MORE: Japanese Outlet Claims Four Executed by Pyongyang After Hanoi Summit Failure

    An agreement was expected to be signed at the second summit, but Trump walked away from talks after Kim demanded the full removal of sanctions imposed on North Korea without pledging to denuclearise the sites that the United States had specified.

    Meanwhile, Trump has expressed confidence that a denuclearisation deal with North Korea is still possible, despite the reports about Pyongyang’s latest missile tests.

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    Tags:
    basketball players, cultural exchanges, denuclearization, negotiations, Democratic Republic of North Korea (DPRK), United States
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