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Trump Expects Talks With N. Korea in May or Early June

A South Korean soldier walks past a television screen showing pictures of US President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a railway station in Seoul on March 9, 2018.

President Donald Trump says he expects a proposed meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to take place in May or early June.

His comments Monday came after U.S. officials said they have confirmed that Kim is willing to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

It was the first tangible sign that Kim was still willing to meet with Trump since the North first proposed the summit last month.

Details on the talks are still unclear, including the exact agenda and place.

But U.S. officials have said there have been secret contacts between Washington and Pyongyang.

Trump has consistently called for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.

In the past, North Korea pledged to freeze its nuclear program in exchange for food aid and easing economic sanctions. Those promises were always broken.

Harry Kazianis, director of defense studies at The Center for the National Interest in Washington, says North Korea is going to make some kind of demand just to have the talks take place, and that its demands for agreeing to abandon its nuclear weapons "are going to be astronomically high."

"They could ask for hundreds of billions of dollars in economic aid," Kazianis told VOA. "They could ask for the removal of U.S. troops from the Korean peninsula. They could even ask for, say, South Korea to get rid of all of its nuclear technology and nuclear reactors."