Kim Yong-chol: N Korea leader Kim Jong-un's right hand man


A top North Korean official headed New York City on Tuesday as the White House works to save tentatively planned talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Another track is the original intelligence channel, and there is keen interest to see if there is a follow-up high-level meeting between Pompeo and North Korea's Kim Yong-chol.

The United States and South Korea blacklisted Kim Yong Chol for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programs in 2010 and 2016, respectively.

Surprised Singaporeans pursued North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday before realising the portly man with slick black hair near the Marina Bay Sands hotel was an impersonator.

Pyongyang has a different view of denuclearization and remains deeply anxious that abandoning its deterrent would leave the country - and its leader - vulnerable, especially while the United States maintains a robust military presence in South Korea. Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk also did not say whether Seoul knew of any US plans regarding Kim Yong Chol's visit, such as whether he and Pompeo would meet. Park was a close associate of late President Kim Dae-jung, under whose administration he played a central role in inter-Korean issues.

Cheong Wa Dae earlier said the Seoul government was already studying the possibility of a three-way summit following a successful U.S. "They plan to have additional meetings this week", Sanders said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-In could also be going to Singapore next month for a three-way summit with his US and North Korean counterparts, a government official in Seoul said Monday.

He will meet North Korea's foreign ministry official Choi Sun Hee again tomorrow on the border, Yonhap reported, citing a diplomatic source, adding that the agenda for the Trump-Kim summit would be roughly worked out.

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"Meetings are now taking place concerning Summit, and more", the president tweeted.

In March, Kim Jong-un told South Korean envoys who visited Pyongyang that the regime had no reason to have nuclear weapons if its security was guaranteed.

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 US and South Korea after tensions over its nuclear weapons reached a breaking point.

Due to sanctions against him, Kim Yong Chol is banned from visiting the United States normally.

USA and South Korean officials haven't confirmed the details of the pre-summit negotiations between Washington and Pyongyang at the border.

If the original date stands, officials have only a fortnight to finalise thorny protocol details such as where in Singapore the talks will take place and how internationally sanctioned North Korean officials will travel there. He would be the most senior North Korean official to visit the United States in 18 years. And, on Sunday, the president said an American delegation was meeting with North Korean officials in preparation for the meeting.

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. "They very much want to do it".