But earlier this year the worldwide community was stupefied when Kim Jong-un invited US President Donald Trump to meet after months of escalating tensions between the leaders. But Pyongyang has affirmed Kim's willingness to put the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula on the table, the sources said.
That work has been led by Central Intelligence Agency Director Mike Pompeo, Trump's pick to become secretary of State.
Both sides have met several times in a third country to determine a location for the historic summit, U.S. officials told CNN.
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Analysts said the efforts show that the U.S. intelligence agencies are taking the lead for summit preparations, but expressed scepticism whether such moves were headed by the North's Reconnaissance General Bureau, which deals with clandestine operations against South Korea.
As recently as this weekend, Trump told associates he was looking forward to the summit, which he agreed to on the spot when presented the invitation from Kim.
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Kim's offer to meet with Mr Trump, which a South Korean envoy conveyed last month, has not been publicly confirmed by the regimen. "What we will see next is the exchanges of presidential envoys between the USA and North Korea".
Whether or not Kim had genuinely offered to discuss dismantling his nuclear program was a key question surrounding his offer to meet Trump, made in March and conveyed to the USA via a South Korean envoy. It is more likely that the North's United Front Department would be in charge... Once a location is agreed upon the officials said that the date will be set and the agenda discussed in greater detail.
The working-level talks began on Saturday morning at a facility on the North side.
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Leading Jaish al-Islam commander Mohammed Alloush told AFP that the Syrian regime were to blame for the collapse of the talks. Assad's forces and Jaish al-Islam began negotiations ten days ago. "All of a sudden, with no warning, the shelling starts".
Speaking at Duke University in North Carolina, Haley said, "When the president ends up speaking with Kim, the conversation has to be about denuclearizing".