International

US, North Korea mull exchange of liaison officers: report

The Trump administration is reportedly considering exchanging liaison officers with North Korea's government, the latest sign of favorable talks between the U.S. and the reclusive country.

CNN reports that discussions about exchanging high-level officers to set up offices in each other's countries have begun as President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un prepare for their second summit, scheduled for the end of this month in Hanoi, Vietnam.

The two leaders signed an agreement last year pledging to work toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, an agreement that resulted in a halting of North Korea's public weapons tests.

Sources told CNN that if the plans went through, several liaison officers led by a Korean-speaking official would be sent to set up offices in North Korea, though a timetable for such plans was not revealed. The State Department declined to comment to CNN on the report.

The Trump administration's ongoing talks with North Korea appeared to be in jeopardy late last year when North Korean officials issued a statement calling U.S. sanctions a roadblock on the path to strengthened ties between North Korea and the West.

"We're very happy how it's going with North Korea. We think it's going fine," Trump told reporters about his administration's relationship with North Korea in November.

Trump predicted earlier this month that North Korea would see an economic boom under Kim's rule if the country opened up to the U.S. and ceased its weapons program.

"North Korea, under the leadership of Kim Jong Un, will become a great Economic Powerhouse," Trump wrote on Twitter earlier in February.

"He may surprise some but he won't surprise me, because I have gotten to know him & fully understand how capable he is. North Korea will become a different kind of Rocket - an Economic one!" he added.

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