Kim Jong-un is reportedly preparing to do what many analysts feared was impossible: open North Korea to international inspectors to verify the reclusive state's denuclearization.
The North's leader has apparently sent a message to the United States expressing his willingness to open access to the International Atomic Energy Agency, according to the Dong-A Ilbo newspaper in South Korea Tuesday.
The media outlet cited Seoul's National Intelligence Service (NIS) as having observed that Kim has responded positively to CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee Mike Pompeo, who has been working on North Korea's total abandonment of nukes during direct talks.
Kim's regime announced last weekend an end to nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests but stopped short of a full denuclearization commitment.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders pointed to South Korea's confirmation when stating Monday U.S. time that "North Korea has expressed a will for complete denuclearization".
Amid skepticism over Pyongyang's sincerity after failed past negotiations, Sanders also insisted global sanctions will not be lifted until the North takes "concrete actions to denuclearize".
The picture is set to become clearer this Friday with the first inter-Korean summit taking place in over a decade.
Source: Anadolu Agency