President Donald Trump informed press reporters that 5 places are actually being taken into consideration for the largely awaited meeting among him and Northern Korean head Kim Jong Un.
Trump confirmed that report this morning, tweeting: "Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong Un in North Korea last week".
Soon afterwards, he tweeted that the meeting went "very smoothly and a good relationship was formed" and details of the summit were being worked out.
After a year of escalating tensions, when North Korea conducted nuclear and long-range missile tests that drew world condemnation, Kim has pivoted to global outreach.
Trump said on Tuesday that the upcoming summit between him and Kim would take place in one of five locations that were now under consideration.
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed. Preparations for a Trump-Kim meeting and trade issues have been dominating the Abe-Trump talks at the USA leader's Mar-a-Lago estate.
Last month Kim made a surprise visit to Beijing to meet President Xi Jinping in what was believed to be the North Korean leader's first trip outside his isolated nation's borders since he succeeded his father in 2011. Trump said on Twitter. The Koreas are technically still in a state of war after fighting in the 1950-53 Korean War ended with a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.
Such discussions between the two Koreas, and between North Korea and the United States, would have been unthinkable at the end of a year ago, after months of escalating tension, and fear of war, over the North's weapons programs. With his remarks in March, Kim may also have been suggesting that he seeks some security assurances from the United States and other nations with nuclear arsenals that could theoretically reach North Korea - a condition the United States would be unlikely to comply with, given that this would likely entail withdrawing missiles from much of the Pacific region, as my colleague Anna Fifield recently noted.
He also said he was considering sending a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February, a visit that began a succession of steps to improve ties.
Wage growth fails to overtake inflation again
Meanwhile, Britain's unemployment rate is 4.2 percent, down from 4.7 percent for a year earlier, and the lowest level since 1975. Sterling had hours earlier touched its highest level against the United States dollar since the Brexit vote.
China's Xi to visit Pyongyang? The South's presidential office declined to comment on the trip.
"China is willing to strengthen high-level exchanges with North Korea, deepen strategic communications, expand talks and cooperation, and to bring out the important leading role of high-level contact in China-North Korea relations".
News of the encounter between the reclusive Kim and Mike Pompeo - Trump's pick to be America's next secretary of state - was the latest in a series of revelations from the USA leader that have fueled hopes of a major diplomatic breakthrough with Pyongyang.
While Trump and Kim have not spoken directly, according to the White House, the USA president revealed Tuesday that there had been contact at "very high levels" to prepare for the historic meeting - an apparent reference to Pompeo's secret visit.
USA officials say that no decision has yet been made on a meeting venue, but China, North Korea, South Korea, and Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas are seen as possible locations.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing Wednesday that Beijing hopes the two sides will work on a political resolution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and set up a peace mechanism.
"What I can stress is that China and North Korea have a tradition of high level mutual visits", she told reporters.
The young leader met China's President Xi Jinping in Beijing in late March, Kim's first trip overseas since taking power six years ago.
The two Koreas have meanwhile been pressing ahead with preparations for the inter-Korean summit next week.
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