SEOUL, U.S. officials are making preparations for a meeting in Singapore between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, a news report said Thursday.

Trump instructed his aide to get ready for his summit talks with Kim in the Southeast Asian city-state, according to CNN, which cited "two people familiar with the plans."

The White House earlier said the date and site for the unprecedented meeting between the leaders of the two sides had been set. Kim and Trump originally agreed to meet each other in May, but the meeting may actually take place in June.

A related announcement is expected in a few days.

Trump told reporters that Panmunjom, a truce village in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) bisecting the Korean Peninsula, has been ruled out as the summit venue.

He did not elaborate on the reason.

Singapore, a neutral site, has been favored by some U.S. officials.

A delay in making public the summit date and venue raised speculation about possible trouble in Pyongyang-Washington consultations.

Clearing a major obstacle, however, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo secured the release of three American prisoners in the communist nation during his one-day trip there Wednesday.

North Korea has an embassy in Singapore, where senior North Korean and U.S. diplomats had nuclear talks some years ago. It takes six to seven hours to fly to Singapore from Pyongyang.

Singapore is known for its well-established infrastructure for international meetings, relatively convenient for security services and media access.

Kim had a dramatic meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at Panmunjom last month.

Trump may catch international media by surprise once again by announcing another site. CNN quoted the sources as saying the decision is "ultimately up to Trump."

Source: Yonhap News Agency