China Hopes N. Korea Leader's Summits With Trump, Moon Will Defuse Tension

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"The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", a Trump administration official told the publication on Sunday.

The report said that Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, tapped as Trump's new secretary of the state, has been working through intelligence back-channels to prepare for the summit.

"Even if we were aware of the talks, we can not comment on it", said an anonymous Cheong Wad Dae official, according to Yonhap News Agency.

North Korean officials were rumored to be floating its capital, Pyongyang, as a meeting ground, CNN reported.

U.S. and North Korean officials have held secret contacts recently, in which Pyongyang directly delivered the message of its willingness to hold the summit, the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity. "If there were such talks, we think it's a positive move".

But the fact that the USA has confirmed North Korea's willingness to even discuss denuclearization is a positive step toward the Trump-Kim meeting actually taking place, and suggests they are communicating directly in preparation for it.

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In a separate report, a United States think-tank says North Korea may have started testing a new reactor.

The talks between intelligence officials are laying the groundwork for a meeting between Pompeo and his North Korea counterpart, the head of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, in advance of the leaders' summit. The representatives of the United States of America and North Korea have already met in a third country.

North and South Korea held talks over establishing a telephone hotline between their leaders and other communication issues ahead of a rare summit between the rivals later this month.

South Korean emissaries, in a visit to the White House last month, had presented Kim's invitation to meet with Trump, who quickly agreed.

The Koreas have to also decide how many times Kim and Moon would meet on April 27 and whether parts of the summit would be broadcast on live television.

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