North Korea has said it is willing to discuss de-nuclearisation with the U.S., a Trump administration official said on Sunday, increasing the chances of an unprecedented summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the United States president.
CNN cited sources saying that Ulan Bator in Mongolia has been suggested as a possible neutral location for the meeting, although the North Koreans have been pushing to hold the talks in their capital, Pyongyang.
Trump has traded barbs with the North Korean leader for much of his time in office as Pyongyang pursues development of nuclear weapons capable of hitting the United States. There was no immediate word on the possible venue for the talks, which would be the first ever between a sitting USA president and North Korean leader.
The back-channel talks are the latest move in a flurry of diplomatic activity aimed at resolving the nuclear crisis on the Korean peninsula.
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.
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Trump agreed to meet with Kim after a South Korean envoy extended Kim's invitation to the president last month.
But Pyongyang has been silent publicly since then about a summit, even as Kim visited Beijing earlier this month in his first visit outside North Korea since assuming control of the country after his father, Kim Jong-il, died in 2011. North Korea had relayed that proposal to the U.S., according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.
South Korean emissaries had presented Kim Jong Un's (left) invitation to meet with United States president Donald Trump (right).
The meeting at the North Korean side of the border village of Panmunjom lasted for about three hours.
Mr Trump is set to meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at Mar-a-Lago in late April, with the North Korea negotiations at the top of their agenda.