Kim makes first official mention of US-N.Korea talks in state media

Seoul (AFP) –


North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un discussed future talks with the US at a party meeting, state media reported Tuesday, in his first official mention of dialogue with Washington ahead of a planned summit with US President Donald Trump.

At the meeting of party officials Monday, 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 reported.

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-U.S. dialogue", it said, referring to the North by its official acronym.

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

Trump has agreed to meet Kim for a historic US-North Korean summit as soon 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.

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

But following multiple reports of secret talks between the Cold War rivals, Trump told reporters Monday he planned to meet 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."