Officials of 2 Koreas discuss setting up hotline

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South Korea, which has shuttled in between Pyongyang and Washington to prepare the discussions, stated Kim had expressed openness to go over giving up nuclear weapons throughout his upcoming meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump, however North Korea had not supported such discussions until Sunday.

Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo and the CIA team have been operating through intelligence back-channels to make arrangements for the summit, the CNN news channel reported.

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.

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South Korean officials had told Donald Trump that Mr Kim was willing to meet him to discuss de-nuclearisation, but the administration comments on Sunday mark the first time the USA has officially confirmed the information with North Korea itself.

South Korea's National Intelligence Service Chief Suh Hoon has been in close contact with his United States and North Korean counterparts.

North Korean officials have told their US counterparts that leader Kim Jong Un is open and ready to talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to The Wall Street Journal. North Korea had relayed that proposal to the United States, according Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun.

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Analysts said the efforts show that the USA intelligence agencies are taking the lead for summit preparations.

However, increased exercise was seen by satellite at a North Korean nuclear website in February, pics of which imply the North has begun preliminary testing of a newfound light water reactor and possibly attracted still another reactor online at its Yongbyon Nuclear Research Center.

North and South Korean officials are meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss setting up a hotline between the leaders of their countries.

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CNN reports that Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is also being considered as a potential meeting place.

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