North Korea says it will offer direct assurance Discuss denuclearization

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The Wall Street Journal reported for the first time on direct confirmation by the North.

There is still no guarantee that the talks will happen, or that Mr. Kim is prepared to discuss the denuclearization of the kind that the United States government envisages, which would imply giving up completely the same weapons as the North has considered crucial for its continued existence. It is also unclear what kind of concessions the United States would be willing to make to guarantee Pyongyang's commitments.

But the direct communication between the two countries about Mr. Kim's intentions seemed to indicate that both parties were working to plant the seeds for negotiations.

Efforts to organize talks between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim have posed great challenges for the administration, whose North Korean policy focuses on the imposition of crippling sanctions, backed by the threat of military action. The administration calls its "maximum pressure campaign".

Before the president abruptly agreed to a summit meeting last month – a gesture that followed a sudden change of his by Mr. Kim to peace talks – the administration had little planned how a diplomatic negotiation would develop, according to the people informed about the process.

Preparations are also under way since Mr. Trump has lost or opted not to do so. hiring experienced diplomats with experience in dealing with the North. The chief negotiator of North Korea's State Department, Joseph Y. Yun, recently announced his departure from the Foreign Service. And the White House decided not to nominate Victor Cha, another experienced negotiator, as ambbadador to Seoul.

The news of Mr. Kim's willingness to talk about denuclearization came a day before John R. Bolton, who has presented the legal case for a pre-pre-emptive strike against North Korea, was to begin officially to function as Mr. Trump's new national security adviser.

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