CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom President Trump has tapped to be Secretary of State, secretly met with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend, the Washington Post exclusively reported.
The Post cited two people “with direct knowledge of the trip” who wished to remain anonymous.
This is an unprecedented visit ahead of what is expected to be an historic meeting with Kim Jong Un and President Trump sometime before May, although the date and location of that meeting has yet to be determined.
Mike Pompeo, CIA chief, met secretly with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un – reports https://t.co/YReBasLx7l
— BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking) April 18, 2018
Pompeo met with Kim to start laying the groundwork for that meeting, the Post’s sources said.
CNN also confirmed the report that Pompeo met with Kim.
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) April 18, 2018
President Trump on Tuesday said the U.S. is talking directly with North Korea in anticipation of a summit sometime before May with Kim Jong Un, and that the talks are taking place at “extremely high levels.”
Trump also gave his “blessing” for North and South Korea to end their decades-long war that has been ongoing on the Korean Peninsula.
North and South Korea are reportedly going to agree to bring an end to the decades-long military conflict on the Korean Peninsula, a South Korean newspaper reported Tuesday.
The leaders of North and South Korea – Kim Jong Un and President Moon Jae-in, respectively – are slated to meet next week, in advance of the tri-nation summit with President Trump sometime before May.
It was reported that the two nations are going to officially put an end to the Korean military conflict, which technically lasted from 1950 to 1953 but was ended with a truce, not a peace treaty, according to the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo, which cited an unnamed South Korean official.
The two nations could also discuss the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates them, and possibly return it to its original state, the newspaper reported.
It was recently announced that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un agreed to meet at a summit with President Trump, and that North Korea is also willing to talk denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
No date or location has been set for what would be an historic meeting of the two leaders yet.
While the date and location of the three-way summit have not been announced, the North-South Korean meeting is set for April 27.
Chinese state media also recently confirmed that Kim traveled and met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing, in an unprecedented first visit outside his home country since becoming supreme leader in 2011.
The North Korea-China meeting came ahead of the meeting with South Korea, which is said to prepare for the three-nation meeting with the United States, North and South Korea sometime before May.
Trump had accepted an invitation from Kim on behalf of South Korean delegates to the U.S. in March. The White House later confirmed that President Trump and Kim would meet “sometime” before May, on the invitation of Kim himself.
The state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) issued commentary about two weeks after the invitation and finally hinted at a confirmation for the upcoming meeting of North Korea, the U.S. and South Korea.
A possible meeting between the nations was originally the product of South Korea’s efforts in February during the Winter Olympics.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in first invited North Korea to a summit in April in the DMZ.
Kim then invited President Trump, through a South Korean envoy, to a future meeting.
While many U.S. officials are skeptical about North Korea following through with any formal meeting, supporters of diplomacy say that even the prospect of talks is an encouraging change.
For the better part of last year, North Korea continued to defy international officials’ pleas to cease countless nuclear missile and bomb tests, even going so far as to threaten the U.S. territory of Guam after fierce words from Trump demanding a halt to their increased military activity and bomb testing.
South Korea has stated that denuclearization could be a topic of discussion during the formal meeting of the nations. But while North Korea seems to have at least paused its nuclear activity for the time being, the rogue nation has not confirmed any sort of agenda for the meeting at this point, and giving up their prized nuclear weapons indefinitely be an unexpected result.