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Kim briefs party leaders on future talks

KCNA/Reuters

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, rear center, heads a party meeting in this photo released by North Korea’s Korean Central News Agency in Pyongyang on Monday.

The Associated Press TOKYO (AP) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un briefed top ruling party officials on his vision for the future direction of dialogue with the United States and his upcoming summit with South Korea’s president, the North’s official media reported Tuesday.

Kim gave his “profound analysis and appraisal” of the prospects for North Korea-U.S. dialogue at a meeting of the Politburo of the ruling party’s Central Committee, the Korean Central News Agency reported. The meeting was held on Monday.

The KCNA report did not specifically mention plans for Kim to hold a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump, expected in May or June, but it suggests Pyongyang is actively preparing for the meeting and is ready to let North Koreans know big events may be ahead.

The North’s official media has thus far made virtually no mention of the series of stunning diplomatic overtures Kim has made toward Seoul and Washington since January, though it did trumpet Kim’s visit to Beijing last month to meet with Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

North Korea’s parliament, called the Supreme People’s Assembly, is scheduled to convene Wednesday. The assembly generally convenes once a year to approve the national budget and other policy and personnel issues that have already been decided on by Kim and the party leadership.

According to the KCNA report, the party leaders who met Monday approved a budget for this year that will be presented to the parliament.

It said Kim outlined in detail his analysis on the situation on the Korean Peninsula and mentioned the North-South summit, which will be held on the south side of the DMZ on April 27.

He then discussed the “prospect of the DPRK-U.S. dialogue and set forth the strategic and tactical issues” to be maintained by the party.

Though the report did not explicitly mention plans for the summit with Trump, it was the most concrete suggestion to date that Pyongyang is preparing for what would be the first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting U.S. president.

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