US President Donald Trump has confirmed that Mike Pompeo, the current CIA director and his nominee to be the top US diplomat, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last week.
"Mike Pompeo met with Kim Jong-un in North Korea last week. Meeting went very smoothly and a good relationship was formed. Details of Summit are being worked out now. Denuclearisation will be a great thing for World, but also for North Korea!" Mr Trump said on Twitter on Wednesday.
After months of brinksmanship, Mr Trump and Kim recently agreed to meet face to face, likely in May or June. North Korea has promised that it is willing to discuss giving up its nuclear weapons arsenal.
Mr Pompeo's trip made him the most senior US official to visit North Korea since then-intelligence chief James Clapper in 2014.
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China, North Korea's closest ally, welcomed direct contact and talks between the US and North Korea.
Chinese foreign ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said at a briefing that Beijing hopes the two sides will work on a political resolution of tensions on the Korean Peninsula and set up a peace mechanism.
Efforts to arrange an unprecedented meeting between the US and North Korean leaders have helped ease tensions over Pyongyang's development of nuclear missiles capable of hitting the United States. Kim has agreed to discuss denuclearisation, according to US and South Korean officials.
"We have had direct talks at very high levels - extremely high levels - with North Korea. I really believe there's a lot of goodwill; a lot of good things are happening," Mr Trump told reporters on Tuesday.
Mr Trump, who has exchanged bellicose threats with Kim in the past year, said US officials were looking at five locations for a meeting with Kim. Asked if any of those were in the United States, Mr Trump replied: "No."
A US official said sites in Southeast Asia and Europe were among those under discussion.
Speculation has centred on a range of sites including Pyongyang, the demilitarised zone between the Koreas, Stockholm, Geneva and Mongolia.