Published: Tue, April 10, 2018
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

North Korea's Kim makes first direct mention of talks with US

North Korea's Kim makes first direct mention of talks with US

US President Donald Trump said Monday that he expects to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in May or early June.

"We'll be meeting with them sometime in May or early June", Trump told reporters during a Cabinet meeting at the White House.

Trump spoke after weekend reports that Kim had pledged to discuss denuclearization, though analysts said it was unclear whether he was referring to just his country or to both North and South Korea. Also, no missile testing by North Korea during this period of time.

The news was confirmed when North Korea has shown their willingness to discuss the issue.

The North's official media has thus far made virtually no mention of the diplomatic gestures Kim has made towards Seoul and Washington since January, though it did report Kim's visit to Beijing last month to meet Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

The other part is the fact that Kim, a 34-year-old who has consistently defied low expectations over the past six years, is feeling more confident than ever. It was also his first meeting with another head of state.

Hearing that the USA has confirmed Kim's willingness to discuss "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", however, is far from a surprise.

If the summit does take place, many remain skeptical about the whether a meeting between the two notoriously unpredictable leaders can succeed.

Detailed coverage of Monday's meeting - held two days before the annual session of North Korea's rubber-stamp parliament - is unusual and could indicate Kim's desire to project an image of a functioning political system to the outside world, an analyst said. "They could even ask for, say, South Korea to get rid of all of its nuclear technology and nuclear reactors".

The confirmation offers the administration greater assurances that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un is committed to a potential meeting with Trump by the end of next month.

Trump said that Washington "maintains contact with North Korea", and also noted that the USA wants a "fair deal".

In South Korea, meanwhile, there are growing signs that Moon Jae-in's government is about to enter its own summit with Kim Jong-un - the third inter-Korean summit later this month - with a different set of assumptions.

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