Top North Korean Official Heads To US For Talks

May 30, 2018, 05:32
Top North Korean Official Heads To US For Talks

Trump also put in place two U.S. Navy carrier battle groups while mounting aggressive demonstrations of U.S. air power to lend credence to his promises of a massive retaliation against North Korea in the event it mounted attacks on either South Korea or America.

The Washington Post reported Sunday that the meeting was aimed at salvaging the June 12 summit, which Trump canceled on Thursday.

"Solid response to my letter, thank you!" tweeted Trump.

Kim Yong Chol, the North Korean leader's right hand man, was expected to arrive Wednesday in NY where he will meet later this week with Pompeo, Sanders said.

Howard X said Kim's rise as the third leader of North Korea in 2011 has proved lucrative for him, jump starting a new career in films, commercials and private functions, most often in his home town of Hong Kong.

Meanwhile, a team of American diplomats are holding preparatory discussions with North Korean officials at the DMZ.

Kim, who is known to be well-versed in denuclearization and security issues, is subject to sanctions by the U.S. Treasury Department for his involvement in the North's nuclear program and other illicit activities.

At the same time, a "pre-advance" USA team was in Singapore to meet North Koreans and the White House announced on Tuesday that Trump would meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on June 7.

And after Trump spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on Monday, the White House confirmed the two would stay in close coordination ahead of the "expected" meeting with North Korea.

"What's more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting", Moon said Monday, according to Reuters.

The call came amid a whirlwind of activity over the possible June 12 summit in Singapore.

Trump earlier said a U.S. team, led by former U.S. Ambassador to Seoul Sung Kim, has arrived in North Korea to "make arrangements for the summit between Kim Jong-un and myself".

The conference had been scheduled for June 12 in the island nation, but Trump announced last week that he had chose to "terminate" the meeting following a provocative statement from the North and its decision to skip planning talks and ignore preparatory phone calls. He has since said the meeting could still happen.

On May 24 he told Kim Jong-un: "I was very much looking forward to being there with you". Madeleine Albright, who was Secretary of State at the time, traveled to North Korea later that month.

The main topic appeared to be the level of North Korea's commitment to denuclearize.

Kim is a former military intelligence chief and now a vice-chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations.

Since then, North Korea has rejected USA demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear weapons program that experts say could threaten the United States.

Former intelligence chief Gen Kim Yong-chol is the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000.

Kim Jong Un has sent favorable signals in recent days and Trump's aides will soon assess whether he is willing to take serious steps before making a final decision on whether to go ahead with the summit, the official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

It's unclear who Kim will be meeting with while in the US, though he is the highest-level North Korean official to step foot in the country since 2000.

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