WASHINGTON, April 18. /TASS/. CIA director Mike Pompeo, whom President Donald Trump has nominated for the position of the Secretary of State, made a clandestine trip to the DPRK over the Easter weekend and held a meeting with Kim Jong-un, The Washington Post said on Tuesday.
According to the report, the meeting between Pompeo, whom the newspaper calls one of Trump’s most trusted emissaries, and the North Korean leader "[…]was part of an effort to lay the groundwork for direct talks between Trump and Kim about North Korea’s nuclear weapons program."
The newspaper said it had received the information from two well-informed people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the highly classified nature of the talks.
The previously unreported mission took place soon after Pompeo’s nomination for the post of the Secretary of State.
"I’m optimistic that the United States government can set the conditions for that appropriately so that the president and the North Korean leader can have that conversation [that] will set us down the course of achieving a diplomatic outcome that America so desperately America and the world so desperately need," Pompeo told the US Senate foreign relations committee last week.
His meeting with Kim Jong-un marks the highest-level contact between the two countries after 2000, when Secretary of State Madeleine Albright had a meeting with the then North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. Their discussion focused on strategic issues.
US Administration officials, whom The Washington Post did not name, quoted their counterparts in the DPRK saying Kim Jong-Un "was willing to negotiate about potential denuclearization."
Although the US and the DPRK do not have diplomatic relations, but US diplomats have visited the country on a number of occasions and Washington has used several behind-the-scenes channels for communications with the North Korean leadership.