North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has acknowledged the prospect of talks with the U.S., state media reported Tuesday, April 10, in his first official mention of dialogue with Washington ahead of a planned summit with President Donald Trump.
Trump has disparaged the North Korean leader through Twitter since entering the White House.
A second official said that confirmation had come through direct contact between American and North Korean officials. During previous negotiations under different USA administrations, the North has agreed to freeze its nuclear weapons program in exchange for the lifting of global economic sanctions, only to violate the agreement by testing more weapons.
A Trump administration official on Sunday said that the USA had "confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula?".
Mr Kim's remarks on Monday did not specifically refer to a summit with Mr Trump.
"This should have been done by other presidents", Trump said.
DPRK is the acronym for the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
Indeed, at the end of November, the last time it tested a missile, North Korea declared it had built a new intercontinental ballistic missile "tipped with super-large heavy warhead" that marked "the completion of the rocket weaponry system development".
USA officials said on Sunday that Kim was open to discussing denuclearization, clearing the way for a historic sit-down between the two leaders. "I think it's going to be a very exciting thing for the world", he continued.
It said Kim outlined in detail his analysis on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and mentioned the North-South summit, which will be held on the south side of the DMZ on April 27.
The date and location of the summit have not been announced. Among them, Pyongyang demanded that the United States declare it will not launch American nuclear weapons from South Korean soil.
"If we go to war on the Korean Peninsula, it's all or nothing. And we don't have fair deals", Trump said.
Either way, "denuclearization", in the sense that Kim means it, does not equate to what the United States has long sought on the Peninsula: the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
Whether he's feeling confident enough to strike a deal remains to be seen.