UPDATE : 2019.7.24 WED 15:18
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Kim says Trump meeting will be positive for Koreas

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has said that his upcoming meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump will be a positive development in light of recent tensions on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim made the remark to visiting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, the North's state media reported. Pompeo was in Pyongyang, a second visit to the reclusive country in more than a month.

"He said that the coming DPRK-U.S. summit would be a historic meeting for the excellent first step toward promotion of the positive situation development in the Korean peninsula and building of a good future," the Korean Central News Agency said in an English dispatch. The Democratic People's Republic of Korea is North Korea's official name.

It was the first time Kim is known to have acknowledged the planned meeting with Trump.

"At the meeting, an in-depth discussion was made on the practical matters for holding the DPRK-U.S. summit and its procedure and ways. Kim Jong-un reached a satisfactory consensus on the issues discussed with the U.S. state secretary," the KCNA said.

North Korea and the U.S. are preparing to hold their first ever summit talks. Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang was apparently aimed at determining the date and venue for the summit.

Trump earlier said that Pompeo is on his way back with three American detainees held in North Korea and that the date and venue of his summit with Kim have been set. Singapore is being cited as a location for the summit talks.

The KCNA said that Kim "accepted an official suggestion of the U.S. president for the release of Americans who have been detained" and gave an order "on granting amnesty to them for their repatriation."

Pompeo also delivered Kim a "verbal message" from Trump, the KCNA said, adding Kim highly appreciated that the U.S. president has shown "deep interest in settling the issue through dialogue."

Details of the verbal message were not disclosed.

Meanwhile, the North's media covered the meeting extensively.

The Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of North Korea's Workers' Party, devoted the front page to the Kim-Pompeo meeting, with relevant photos including those showing the two shaking hands with smiles on their faces.

Who attended the meeting other than Kim and Pompeo was not mentioned.

According to the photos, Kim Yong-chol, a vice chairman of the central committee of the Workers' Party and head of the United Front Department handling inter-Korean relations, was seen joining the meeting, and presumably Andrew Kim, head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, was also in attendance on the U.S. side.

North Korea's daily Rodong Sinmun has full front-page coverage of the meeting between the country's top leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for its May 10 edition. The U.S. is expected to soon announce the date and location of what will be the first-ever North Korea-U.S. summit. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

Hwi Won  edt@koreapost.com

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