World

N Korea ready to discuss denuclearisation with US: Report

WASHINGTON North Korean officials have told their US counterparts that Mr Kim Jong Un is ready to discuss denuclearisation, an assurance that could pave the way for a planned meeting with President Donald Trump, reports said.

It is the first time Pyongyang has made the offer of a summit directly to Washington, after its invitation was previously conveyed through a South Korean envoy.

"The US has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," a Trump administration official told The Wall Street Journal and Washington Post on Sunday.

Washington stunned observers when it announced last month it had agreed to a historic first meeting between Mr Trump and Mr Kim, to be held by the end of next month.

The North's offer to meet was delivered to the White House by South Korea's national security adviser Chung Eui-yong, who had met Mr Kim during a visit to Pyongyang days earlier.

But Pyongyang has failed to publicly confirm the offer.

This silence had made US officials nervous that Seoul had overstated the North's willingness to negotiate over its own nuclear arsenal, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Many remain sceptical about whether the planned summit can succeed.

It is scheduled to take place without the months of groundwork that usually precedes such meetings.

CNN reported on Saturday that secret talks the summit were under way between North Korean and US intelligence officials, citing anonymous White House sources.

But no specifics have yet emerged concerning the date or venue of the proposed summit - AFP

WORLD