Washington: U.S. President Donald Trump said on Monday that he expected to meet Kim Jong-un, the top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), in May or early June.
“We’ll be meeting with them sometime in May or early June, and I think there will be great respect paid by both parties,” he told a cabinet meeting, saying that he hoped the two sides would be able to make a deal on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Trump also said the U.S. side has been in touch with the DPRK.
The White House host said “hopefully it will be a relationship that will be much different than it has been for many, many years ago,” referring to the U.S. confrontation relations with the DPRK.
Tension on the Korean Peninsula has thawed in recent months. In March, Trump and Kim agreed to meet, but the exact timing and place of the high-profile gathering have not been announced yet.
Seoul and Pyongyang have agreed to hold a summit on April 27, the first meeting between the leaders of the two sides in 11 years.
On Tuesday, North Korea’s official newswire, KCNA, revealed that Kim Jong had discussed the “development of the north-south relations at present and the prospect of the DPRK-US dialogue” at a meeting of party officials.
He also delivered a report on developments around the Korean peninsula, including the separate summit with South Korea to be held later this month, KCNA said.
The specific date or the venue for the meeting has not yet been finalized. However, according to a report by CNN, Mike Pompeo, Central Intelligence Agency director, and a team of officials were already working through back channels to make preparations for this summit, with the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar, as a possible location.
President Trump received the invitation from Mr Kim that was hand-delivered by South Korean officials visiting the White House.
(With inputs from Xinhua)