North Korean officials have told their USA counterparts that Kim Jong Un is ready to discuss denuclearization, an assurance that could pave the way for a planned meeting with President Donald Trump, reports said.
Whether or not Kim had genuinely offered to discuss dismantling his nuclear program was a key question surrounding his offer to meet Trump, made in March and conveyed to the USA via a South Korean envoy.
"Kim Jong Un made a decision to go to the negotiating table because he judged that once he became a nuclear power", he said, "the USA would be much more interested in talking to him". "I think it's going to be a very exciting thing for the world", he said.
North Korea's parliament, called the Supreme People's Assembly, is scheduled to convene Wednesday.
Trump said the United States has "been in touch with North Korea" in preparation for the first direct engagement between a sitting American president and a North Korean leader.
United States media reported that U.S. and North Korean intelligence officials have spoken several times with a focus on nailing down a location for the summit.
Until now, the United States had relied mostly on ally South Korea's assurance of Kim's intentions.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has made his first direct acknowledgment of the prospect of talks with the US, addressing the issue at a meeting of the ruling party's Politburo, state-run media reported Tuesday.
Hearing that the US has confirmed Kim's willingness to discuss "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", however, is far from a surprise.
Kim met Chinese President Xi Jinping in a surprise visit to Beijing in late March, his first trip outside the isolated North Korea since he came to power in 2011.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in first invited North Korea to a summit in April in the DMZ, which separates the two nations on the Korean Peninsula. Ri also paid a visit last month to Sweden, which acts as a diplomatic go-between for Washington and Pyongyang. "And again, this meeting won't take place without concrete actions that match the promises that have been made by North Korea". He did not clarify where the session might take place.
Beyond that, a detailed agenda for the talks will need to be set.