Trump confirms senior North Korean official en route to US

Wednesday, 30 May, 2018

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. However, whether it still takes place on June 12, or whether it takes place later, North Korea in particular is in a better position today than it was six months ago, and the US bargaining position is weaker.

Kim Yong-chol, regarded as the right-hand man of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, has played a key role in arranging the North Korea-U.S. summit. Solid response to my letter, thank you!' Trump wrote in a tweet.

She said North Korean vice chairman of the Central Committee, General Kim Yong Chol, is traveling to NY and will meet with Secretary of State Pompeo later this week. A team of U.S. officials had a meeting with the North Koreans in the demilitarized zone, while another team travelled to Singapore for preparations.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in could make a trip to Singapore for a three-way summit with his USA and North Korean counterparts next month, depending on the outcome of ongoing discussions between Washington and Pyongyang, a ranking government official here said Monday.

Observers say the trip by Kim Yong Chol could be a reciprocal visit after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo twice traveled to Pyongyang in recent weeks.

North Korean spymaster Kim Yong-chol was confirmed to be headed for the U.S., adding another dimension to ongoing summit negotiations between the two countries.

Kim Yong Chol is one of the vice chairmen of the Workers' Party of Korea, the communist organization through which the ruling family controls North Korea, but is not technically the No. 2 behind Kim Jong Un.

Delegations from the United States and North Korea arrived in Singapore on Monday evening, according to the South Korean news agency Yonhap.

Kim Chang-son, the director of the North's State Affairs Commission Secretariat, who serves as leader Kim's chief of staff, was reported to be part of a North Korean delegation in Beijing on Monday, apparently en route to Singapore for talks with the United States.

Pompeo said during an interview on "Fox News Sunday" earlier this month that the USA would need to "provide security assurances" stipulating that Kim may stay in power as part of the denuclearization negotiations.

Yonhap said Kim Yong Chol's name was on the passenger list for a flight Wednesday from Beijing to NY. Sanders said he would meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in NY later this week. Trump had mused that Kim's "attitude" had changed after the North Korean's surprise visit to China two weeks ago, suggesting China was pushing Kim away from the table. Kim was seen in the Beijing airport on Tuesday by Associated Press Television.

"I think the two leaders will sit down and they're going to have a great time, because really they have the same personality", said Howard on Sunday.

On Thursday, President Trump released a letter he had sent to Kim Jong Un, canceling the June 12 summit scheduled for Singapore, citing North Korea's unrelenting hostility as the reason.

Donald Trump has confirmed that a top North Korean official is set to fly to NY in a bid to arrange his on-off summit with Kim Jong Un.

But Kim also said he was unsure whether he could trust the United States over its promise to end hostile policies against North Korea and provide security assurances if the country does abandon its nuclear weapons, according to Moon.

"Kim's official counterpart is Pompeo but he may also push for meetings with (National Security Advisor John) Bolton and even Trump if possible", Chung told AFP.

But aides nearly immediately suggested the meeting could still get back on track.