Trump says meetings being set up with North Korea's Kim Jong

(LEAD) Tightly held planning under way for Trump-Kim meeting: US official

(LEAD) Tightly held planning under way for Trump-Kim meeting: US official

President Donald Trump said Monday he plans to meet with North Korea's Kim Jong Un next month or in early June, indicating a historic summit between the Cold War rivals is still on track.

"They've said so. We've said so", Mr Trump added. Although Kim Jong-un's attendance is not mandatory, he has at times given speeches at the event. I think it will be terrific. But it is thought to be coming on board with the worldwide sanctions regime to rid Pyongyang of its nuclear weapons program.

North Korea has told the United States it is prepared to discuss the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula when Mr Kim meets Mr Trump, a USA official told Reuters on Sunday.

North Korea has intensified diplomatic efforts recently, at a time when inter-Korean relations have been improving since the North made a decision to take part in the February 9-25 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics hosted by the South.

Pompeo brushed aside concerns that the administration's moves to modify a nuclear deal with Iran could make reaching an agreement with North Korea more hard.

Pompeo stressed that the aim of a Trump-Kim summit was to get North Korea to "step away". "Getting rid of nuclear weapons is very good for them and good for everybody, but they have really been a great help to us at the border of North Korea".

During a meeting with Moon's special envoys in Pyongyang in early March, Kim agreed to refrain from missile and nuclear tests during the period of dialogue with Washington on denuclearization and normalization of bilateral ties, according to South Korea.

At a separate congressional hearing, U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said the aim was for a negotiated solution to the North Korean crisis.

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