Saturday morning’s Asahi front-paged the revelation by a DPRK source that when meeting with Secretary of State-Designate Pompeo in Pyongyang over Easter weekend, DPRK leader Kim Jong Un conveyed his regime’s readiness for “complete denuclearization.” Although Kim did not reportedly specify how fast and to what extent he will proceed with the denuclearization, the daily cited a different source saying that Pyongyang is considering terminating its ICBM program ahead of the U.S. midterm elections and phasing out other nuclear programs in about six years before a potential second term for President Trump would expire. The daily said this envisaged timeframe is not consistent with the reported U.S. desire to complete the denuclearization by the end of 2020. According to the sources, the North Korean leader asked Pompeo if the planned summit with the President could be held in Pyongyang and said that if it were to take place there, he ‘would not let the President down.”
Today’s Asahi ran a Seoul-datelined report claiming that North Korea rolled out the red carpet for Pompeo, who reportedly met with Kim three or four times in Pyongyang. The DPRK leader was reportedly very pleased to discover that they had excellent chemistry. The report added that a senior USG official, believed to be from the CIA, is currently in Pyongyang to make arrangements for the planned summit.