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Trump says U.S. is communicating with North Korea 'directly'

President Trump on Tuesday revealed that the U.S. is engaged in bilateral talks with North Korea. Speaking after a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Trump said his administration has "started talking to North Korea directly," entering into "direct talks at very high levels, extremely high levels, with North Korea."

Bloomberg News' Jennifer Jacobs reported that "senior U.S. officials" have in fact communicated directly with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and are working to arrange a meeting between Trump and Kim that Trump first floated earlier this year. Trump said Tuesday that the meeting would take place "probably in early June," or "a little before that" — if it takes place at all, Jacobs reported.

The Washington Post noted that it was unclear what Trump was referring to when he mentioned direct talks, given that the U.S. and North Korea do not have diplomatic relations. He may have been implying communication between "higher-level contacts," the Post said, "a step that diplomats have been expecting as a crucial run-up to the planned summit between Trump and Kim."