Kim Jong Un has told the US secretary of state that he does not want his children to live with the burden of nuclear weapons.
This is according to a former CIA officer involved in high-level diplomacy over North Korea’s weapons, who made the claims about the leader on Saturday.
Kim is said to have made the comments to the US secretary of state Mike Pompeo during a visit to the North Korean capital, Pyongyang, in April last year.
This is while he was laying the groundwork for the historic first summit between the North’s leader and President Donald Trump in June in Singapore, former CIA official Andrew Kim said.
When asked whether he was willing to end his nuclear programme, Andrew Kim quoted the North Korean leader as saying: "I’m a father and a husband. And I have children.
"And I don’t want my children to carry the nuclear weapon on their back their whole life."
"That was his answer," said Andrew Kim of the Korean leader.
Kim Jong Un told a lecture on Friday at Stanford University’s Asia Pacific Research Center, where he is a visiting scholar.
Before he retired from the CIA, Kim established the agency’s Korea Mission Center, in April 2017, and accompanied Pompeo – who was then CIA director – to Pyongyang last year.
In their Singapore summit, Kim and Trump pledged to work towards peace between their countries and for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
But little progress has been made since then and they are set to meet again in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday.
They are expected to focus on what steps North Korea might take towards denuclearisation, in exchange for what US concession.
The former CIA officer said the North Korean leader expressed a strong desire to improve ties with the United States as a way to build confidence between them, which he said was needed to end the nuclear weapons programme.
The North Korean leader left Pyongyang by train for his visit to Vietnam on Saturday afternoon, Russia’s TASS news agency reported on Saturday citing a North Korean diplomatic source.
North Korea’s state media has yet to confirm either Kim’s trip to Vietnam or his summit with Trump.
Inside North Korea
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