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U.S. policy on North Korea entering unknown territory

Kim Jong-un seated giving speech
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at a Workers' Party of Korea meeting in Pyongyang. Photo: STR/AFP/Getty Images

The secret early April visit to Pyongyang by Mike Pompeo, the CIA Director and Secretary of State nominee, suggests that the unprecedented summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will take place after all.

Why it matters: Face-to-face negotiations are terra incognita for two countries used to threatening and pressuring each other. Even with North Korea now talking about denuclearization and Washington weighing the prospects of a deal, the outcome of the summit — and what it might mean for U.S. allies in Seoul and Tokyo — remains highly uncertain.