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CIA boss Mike Pompeo secretly met North Korean leader

April 17, 2018

CIA Director Mike Pompeo made a secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend and met with Kim Jong Un, according to media reports. Donald Trump said the meeting "went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed."

CIA Director Mike Pompeo
Image: Reuters/L. Millis

Secretary of state nominee and CIA chief Mike Pompeo is believed to have met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un over Easter weekend to set up a meeting with US President Donald Trump, US media reported Tuesday. 

On Wednesday, Trump confirmed there was a meeting but said it took place "last week"

"Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed," he said on Twitter. "Denuclearization wll be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!"

Earlier, Trump said the US had held high-level talks with North Korea, confirming that officials have begun laying the groundwork for the anticipated meeting between the leaders sometime before the end of May.

Read more: US: North Korea is open to 'discuss denuclearization'

Latest developments:

  • Speaking to reporters at his Florida Mar-a-Lago resort, Trump said: "We have had direct talks at very high levels — extremely high levels — with North Korea." 
  • US media reported Tuesday that CIA Director Pompeo met North Korean leader Kim during a top-secret visit to North Korea over Easter weekend.
  • Trump said he was unsure about whether the leaders' summit would be successful or even take place: "We'll either have a very good meeting or we won't have a good meeting. ... And maybe we won't even have a meeting at all."
  • He refused to answer questions about whether he had spoken to Kim, but said the summit was a positive opportunity: "I think that there's a great chance to solve a world problem."
  • He added that five locations were being considered for the meeting
  • Praising the meeting on Twitter, Trump said that "Details of Summit are being worked out now"

Read more: Is the world ignoring North Korea's 'crimes against humanity'?

Highest level summit: In March, Trump accepted an offer to meet Kim to discuss the North's nuclear weapons program. The summit will follow a separate meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in on April 27.

Trump's blessing: The president also said he approved of both Koreas negotiating a formal end to the Korean War, which technically never ended after an armistice was signed in 1953: "They do have my blessing to discuss the end of the war." The announcement breaks with previous US policy. Washington long sought to halt the North's nuclear program before discussing a peace treaty.

Read more: North, South Korean officials meet to hash out logistics ahead of rare summit

Abe lauds Trump: Abe said the president was brave for agreeing to meet with Kim: "I'd like to commend Donald's courage in his decision to have the upcoming summit meeting with the North Korean leader." He also said Trump had promised to discuss the issue of Japanese abductees in North Korea with Kim.

amp, av/aw (AFP, AP, dpa)

Read more: US: North Korea is open to 'discuss denuclearization'

Date set for Korean summit