North Korea makes first official mention of talks with America

Kim “made a profound analysis of the orientation of North-South relations at present and the prospect of US dialogue”

A man watches a TV screen showing file footage of U.S. President Donald Trump, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, April 9, 2018. North Korea's government has communicated with the United States to say that leader Kim is ready to discuss his nuclear weapons program with Trump, officials said Sunday, increasing the likelihood that the unprecedented summit will actually occur. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)
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North Korea leader Kim Jong-un discussed talks with the US at a party meeting, state media reported Tuesday, in his first official mention of dialogue with Washington before a summit with US President Donald Trump.

At the meeting of party officials on Monday, Mr Kim delivered a report “on the development of the recent situation on the Korean peninsula”, including the separate summit with South Korea to be held later this month, the official KCNA news agency said.

Mr Kim “made a profound analysis and appraisal of the orientation of the development of the North-South relations at present and the prospect of the DPRK-US dialogue”, it said, referring to the North by its official acronym.

In a growing rapprochement on the Korean peninsula, Mr Kim is scheduled to meet the South's President Moon Jae-in for an rare inter-Korean summit on April 27.

Mr Trump has agreed to meet Mr Kim for a historic US-North Korean summit as early as next month.

However, Pyongyang has never officially confirmed its offer of denuclearisation talks to the White House, which was delivered by a South Korean envoy.

Mr Kim's remarks on Monday did not specifically refer to a summit with Mr Trump.

But following multiple reports of secret talks between the Cold War rivals, Mr Trump told reporters Monday he planned to meet Mr Kim in “May or early June”.

“I think there will be great respect paid by both parties and hopefully there will be a deal on denuking,” he said.

“Hopefully, it will be a relationship that will be much different than it has been for many, many years.”