Three North Korean officials, including the top envoy involved in talks with the United States, are booked on a flight to Washington, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, suggesting a possible breakthrough in denuclearization talks.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol are expected to meet on Thursday or Friday in the U.S. capital to discuss a second summit between their leaders, CNN and South Korean media reported citing sources familiar with the issue.
A meeting could mean the two sides are nearing a compromise after months of standoff over how to move forward in ending North Korea's nuclear and missile programs, which it conducted for years in defiance of U.N. sanctions.
Kim, along with North Korea's vice foreign minister Choe Son Hui, and a third official, will leave Beijing on Thursday for Washington, Yonhap said, citing an unidentified Chinese airport official.
A spokesman for the U.S. State Department, asked earlier about the possibility of the top officials from the two sides getting together, said: "We have no meetings to announce."
Pompeo planned to meet his counterpart last November, but the talks were called off at the last minute.
Contact was resumed after Kim Jong Un delivered a New Year speech in which he said he was willing to meet Trump "at any time", South Korea's ambassador to the United States, Cho Yoon-je, told reporters last week.