Published: Sat, June 02, 2018
Global | By Enrique Rogers

N. Korea will send official to NY

N. Korea will send official to NY

A top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un arrived in Singapore on Monday night (May 28), Japanese public broadcaster NHK said on Tuesday, the latest indication that the on-again, off-again summit with US President Donald Trump is going ahead.

"We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea", Trump tweeted.

The Washington Post reported that the United States delegation to the Panmunjom meeting - in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea - was led by Sung Kim, a former USA ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North. Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to NY.

"Solid response to my letter, thank you!"

Tuesday witnessed North Korea's former spy chief Kim Yong-chol at Beijing global airport heading to the United States for talks.

Trump did not detail what he meant by "my letter;" he could have been referring to the missive he disclosed last week calling off the Kim meeting that had been scheduled for June 12 in Singapore.

Meetings are now taking place concerning Summit, and more.

Kim Yong-chol, North Korea's former spy chief, would become the highest ranked official from the isolated nation to visit the USA since 2000, when Pyongyang sent Vice Marshal Jo Myong-rok to meet then-President Bill Clinton.

With much of the information about ongoing discussions at Panmunjeom withheld, what the countries are still working out appears to be the first steps they would take on the path to denuclearization - how much North Korea proactively dismantles its nuclear weapons programs, and how much rewards the United States can grant to the North in return, they say. In addition, teams of USA officials have arrived at the Korean demilitarized zone and in Singapore to prepare for the meeting. From North Korea's point of view, he said, a US presence in the country might give Pyongyang a "sense of security" against a possible USA attack.

It remains far from clear how Trump and Kim might be able to bridge what appear to be vast differences in their expectations for what would be a historic meeting.

On Tuesday, South Korea's foreign ministry said it will focus "all efforts" to lay the groundwork for the success of ongoing diplomacy with the North.

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Yonhap said Kim, who had arrived in Beijing on Tuesday, was travelling with five other North Korean officials.

The CIA report, described by three US officials to NBC News, appears to contradict President Donald Trump's previous claims regarding North Korea's willingness to denuclearize.

North Korean movements are being reported as US officials were seen in Seoul and Panmunjom, conducting working-level talks with the North Koreans over the weekend.

Kim Yong Chol previously was chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a top North Korean military intelligence agency, and has spent almost 30 years as a senior member of the intelligence community. Any visit to the United States would indicate a waiver was granted.

He is widely believed to have masterminded the attack on a South Korean naval corvette, the Cheonan, in 2010, leading to the deaths of 46 sailors.

On May 24, Trump said he was pulling out from the summit, citing hostility from North Korea.

But events have moved quickly since Kim Jong Un made a conciliatory New Year's address at the end of last year, following months of sharply rising tension.

Interested in North Korea?

But Kim, through two summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May, has called for a phased and synchronized process in which every action he takes is met with a reciprocal reward from the United States.

Moon said on Monday there could be more impromptu talks between the two Koreas in the lead-up to the summit.

The former intelligence chief is also thought to be behind the 2014 hack of Sony Pictures and was among those sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in its aftermath.

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