President Trump confirmed on Wednesday a secret meeting which took place last week between North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un and U.S. Central Intelligence Director Mike Pompeo.
The integral meeting reportedly laid the groundwork for a highly anticipated meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader, which would be a historic first.
“Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week,” the president tweeted, confirming earlier rumors. “Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed.”
Trump also addressed the upcoming meeting between him and Jong-Un, “Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!”
Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearization will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 18, 2018
As ABC News reports, Trump could be planning to meet the North Korean leader as early as May or June:
Earlier on Tuesday, Trump himself confirmed there have been “direct talks at very high levels with North Korea.”
The president, who confirmed the meeting in a tweet Wednesday morning, has said he hopes to meet with Kim as early as May or June. Trump said Tuesday that five locations have been discussed as possible venues.
A senior U.S. official said the president has ruled out China as a location and that Kim likely wouldn’t agree to meet in the U.S., just as Trump said he wouldn’t meet in North Korea.
Venues in Europe, southern Asia and the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea are being considered.
Here’s more from the president, via MSNBC:
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Speaking at his Florida beach resort ahead of bilateral meetings with the prime minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, Trump confirmed that the two governments are speaking directly, acknowledging extraordinary progress in establishing some of the most sustained communication between the two nations in over half a century.
“We have had direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels with North Korea,” Trump told reporters. “And I really believe there is a lot of good will, lot of good things are happening.”
“Ultimately it’s the end result that counts, not the fact that we’re thinking about having a meeting or having it,” he added.
U.S. officials say North Korea is among the topics that will dominate the two-day summit with Abe and his delegation. Last month, following a visit by South Korea’s national security adviser to the White House, Trump decided to accept an invitation by the reclusive North Korean leader to meet face-to-face to discuss denuclearization.
Over the summer, North Korea test-launched dozens of missiles and its dictator warned both the United States and regional powers like Japan and South Korea that it could strike any time. The rogue rhetoric was seemingly put aside ahead of the Winter Olympic Games and North Korea sent athletes into South Korea. The Korean athletes flew under a united Korean banner and Jong-Un’s own sister attended the games. The tensions of the Korean peninsula have somewhat subsided as both parties are conducting senior-level meetings and posturing towards peace.
The meeting between the CIA Director and Kim Jong-Un is the latest in a historic movement towards a peaceful Korean peninsula.
Shortly before Trump met with Abe on Tuesday, news of another potential breakthrough emerged, as Bloomberg News reported that the leaders of North Korea and South Korea are in talks to end the war between the two nations.
No peace treaty has been signed to replace the 1953 armistice that ended the Korean War. The increasing isolation of North Korea over the decades, plus its pursuit of uranium enrichment, has been a great source of concern for countries in the region, including Japan.
Trump said that the two Koreas “have my blessing” to end the ongoing war.
Abe said Trump had applied “maximum pressure” on North Korea, adding that he would “like to commend Donald’s courage” in agreeing to meet with the North Korean leader.
Trump said the meeting is on track for late May or early June, and that the two sides are discussing five potential sites for the meeting, although he didn’t elaborate. But he offered a disclaimer that if things don’t go according to plan, the plans could be aborted.
“We’ll see what happens,” he said, saying it’s possible that the meeting would never take place. “But it’s a great chance to solve a world problem.”