North Korea ready to discuss denuclearization with US: report

North Korean officials have told their U.S. counterparts that leader Kim Jong Un is open and ready to talk about the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“The U.S. has confirmed that Kim Jong Un is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” a Trump administration official told the publication on Sunday. 

The Journal report follows a CNN report on Saturday saying Washington and Pyongyang were in direct communication in secret to prepare for the upcoming summit between Kim and President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE

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Officials told the network that CIA Director Mike Pompeo, whom Trump has nominated to be secretary of State, has been leading back-channel talks for the summit, which is slated for May. 

North Korea is reportedly pushing to hold the talks in its capital, Pyongyang, but it is unclear whether Trump is willing to travel to the city. 

CNN reports that Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia, is also being considered as a potential meeting place. 

Trump agreed to meet with Kim after a South Korean envoy extended Kim’s invitation to the president last month. The White House said Trump expected Kim to take concrete "steps" prior to the meeting.

The upcoming summit follows a tense year between the two leaders. 

Trump has frequently lambasted North Korea for its continued intercontinental ballistic missile tests, referring to Kim as "Little Rocket Man."

Kim, in turn, has defied the global community's calls to halt his tests, and has referred to Trump as a "dotard."