wnol.info June 23 2018

Trump signals timeline for North Korea summit could slip

June 23 2018, 11:24 | Irvin Gilbert

South Korean envoy 'told Kim Jong Un to kick smoking habit' during landmark summit

N. Korea OKs talks on nukes

M - North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has publicly acknowledged talks with the USA for the first time, BBCreported citing state media reports.

"North Korea by the way as you've probably seen, we've been in touch with North Korea, we will be meeting with them sometime in May or early June".

Kim's reported remarks drew a mixed response from North Korea watchers in Seoul and Washington.

While the plan of talks between the two enemies saw announced last month, Pyongyang had failed to officially confirm the talks were planning to take place until yesterday's press release.

"The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", an administration official said.

'Hopefully it will be a relationship that will be much different than it has been for many, many years'.

USA 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.

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It added the country also supports the North Korean leadership's efforts to hold talks with the South and the United States, in line with the "roadmap" Moscow suggested on pursuing a peaceful, step-by-step approach to end the crisis. Over the weekend, even American officials said they had received equivalent assurances right from mature North Korean counter parts.

"(Kim Jong Un) set forth the strategic and tactical issues to be maintained by the Workers' Party of Korea including the future policy of worldwide relations and the orientation corresponding to them", the North's central news agency said on Tuesday.

Chung Eui-yong, the director of the South Korean National Security Council, advised Kim Jong Un to stop smoking during a conversation.

Still, senior administration officials remain certain that a cordial, productive, and diplomatic meeting between the heads of state is possible. The unprecedented meeting was arranged through a group of South Korean envoys who met with Kim in Pyongyang last month.

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.

No specifics have yet emerged concerning the date or venue, with a 3rd country such as Mongolia or Sweden reportedly under consideration to host the talks.

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