Top North Korean official, Pompeo meet to discuss summit

Top North Korean official, Pompeo meet to discuss summit

Top North Korean official, Pompeo meet to discuss summit

Kim Yong Chol, who is about 72, is a contentious figure outside North Korea. Thank you very much, Scott.

In the letter to Kim Jong Un, Trump said he thought the atmosphere was too hostile for the two of them to meet, a reference to a recent statement from North Korea's vice-foreign minister Choe Son Hui in which she called Vice-President Mike Pence "a political dummy" for comparing her country to Libya.

North Korea has reportedly dispatched top officials to the United States and Singapore, the latest indication that the on-again-off-again summit with US President Donald Trump may go ahead.

There are speculations that the top North Korean official may pay a visit to Trump as a special envoy from Kim Jong-un or convey a letter during the NY trip.

While Kim Yong Chol's trip to the United States could further brighten the prospects, history shows that plans for a summit could still crumble.

A delegation of United States envoys met with North Korean officials Sunday in Panmunjom to work out details of the summit.

Kim Chang Son, a top aide to Kim Jong Un at the State Affairs Commission and known as the leader's de facto chief of staff, arrived in Singapore Monday night.

For a successful summit, "there's got to be a lot negotiated in advance - and none of that was happening", by US officials, said Victor Cha, former director for Asian Affairs at the National Security Council during the second Bush Administration, on NBC's "Meet the Press" yesterday. The countries were expected to hold another set of working-level meetings in Singapore to discuss protocol, security and other logistical issues for the summit.

Whatever Trump meant to suggest, the reference reflected two realities: first, that China will play a determinant role in the off-again, on-again diplomacy between the USA and North Korea over Pyongyang's nuclear program.

During her stay in Pyongyang, Kim Jong Il took Albright to one of the mass games spectacles that included a giant mosaic displaying a rocket flying into the sky.

And on Sunday, the U.S. State Department said American and North Korean officials had met at Panmunjom.

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The April 27 inter-Korean summit, which produced a vague declaration to work toward denuclearization and a peace treaty for the Korean Peninsula, was meant to serve as a springboard for talks between US and North Korean leaders.

According to the State Department, the USA team met with North Korean officials at the same DMZ site, the village of Panmunjom.

While likely substantive, those discussions could be upstaged by any talks between Kim Yong Chol and officials in the United States, said Evans Revere, a former senior diplomat who dealt with North Korea under U.S. President George W. Bush.

KELEMEN: Kim has been a military intelligence chief and has been involved in inter-Korean relations.

HORSLEY: So if they really want to get this done by June 12, we're looking at a very accelerated schedule. Mr. Moon said Sunday that the North's disarmament could be still be a hard process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don't differ over what "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula means.

Meanwhile, Russia announced Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will visit North Korea on Thursday and hold talks with his counterpart about the situation on the Korean Peninsula.

"What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations (with North Korea) and provide a security guarantee if they do denuclearization", Mr. Moon said.

"We agreed to meet before the U.S".

South Korean officials couldn't immediately confirm the report.

The United States and South Korea blacklisted him for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programs in 2010 and 2016, respectively, so a visit to the United States would indicate a waiver was granted.

Those include two deadly attacks in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans and an alleged 2014 cyberattack on Sony Pictures.

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