Korean Official Heading to United States for Talks on Summit

Korean Official Heading to United States for Talks on Summit

Korean Official Heading to United States for Talks on Summit

Negotiations between the United States and North Korea to pave the way for the summit between their two leaders on June 12 have kicked into higher gear since last Saturday's impromptu meeting between South Korea's President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

South Korean media today (May 29) reported that general Kim Yong Chol landed in Beijing to transit to NY on a flight scheduled for tomorrow (May 30), where he's expected to meet with U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo. Kim Yong Chol and Pompeo also met in Pyongyang earlier this month.

The President welcomed Kim's aide early Tuesday morning, saying "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea".

"We are having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date", Trump tweeted Friday. "Kim Yong Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York", Trump wrote on Twitter Tuesday.

Kim Yong Chul is a former head of North Korea's Reconnaissance Bureau, an espionage and special operations organization.

Kim Chang-son (L), North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's de facto chief of staff, prepares to get into a vehicle as he leaves a hotel in Singapore on May 29, 2018.

The Washington Post reported that talks inside the Demilitarised Zone would continue this week between USA and North Korean officials. Because of this, he is banned from visiting the United States normally, indicating a waiver would be needed to enter.

General Kim is a deeply controversial figure in South Korea, where he is blamed for masterminding the 2010 sinking of the navy corvette the Cheonan, which killed 46 sailors, an attack North Korea denies playing any role in.

Separately, an advance team headed by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin is in Singapore making logistical plans for the summit, should it go ahead. Now in charge of inter-Korean relations, he was the longtime head of North Korea's intelligence agency, making him one of leader Kim Jong Un's most trusted advisers.

But Trump and the USA would only accept from North Korea "a full accounting of all your nuclear weapons and your ballistic missiles" and their willingness "to open up that entire disarming and dismantling process so we have full verification of the entire process", Keane said.

One of Kim Jong-un's most senior officials is thought to be travelling to the United States, as preparations for a possible historic summit gather pace.

US officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.

In a separate report the same day, it said that Kim Chang Son, Kim Jong Un's de facto chief of staff, had arrived in the city-state Monday, showing footage of him at the airport escorted by three bodyguards.

Just three days after Trump abruptly called off the unprecedented meeting in a letter to the North Korean leader, the president appeared to confirm the talks were back on.

The meeting was thrown into doubt after Mr Trump pulled out last week.

Kim, a vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea's Workers' Party of Korea, also led a delegation to South Korea for the closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics in February, where he rubbed shoulders with Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump's daughter. -North Korea summit but that nothing has been decided or even discussed between the countries.

Andrew O'Neil, an expert on North Korea and a professor at Griffith University in Australia, called the visit a "significant development".

Former military intelligence chief Mr Kim, who is now the vice-chairman of his leader's regime, will become the most senior Pyongyang official to travel to the United States since 2000.

It was widely expected that Kim would travel to the US to reciprocate recent visits by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Kim Yong-chol sat just metres away from Trump's daughter Ivanka at the Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February - one of the first signs of a diplomatic thaw between North Korea and the United States and South Korea after tensions over its nuclear weapons reached a breaking point. "Since the President's May 24 letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging", she said.

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