Published: Sat, January 19, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

North Korean Official Reportedly Heads to the USA for Talks

North Korean Official Reportedly Heads to the USA for Talks

The Pentagon assessment has injected fresh skepticism into an already fragile diplomatic process as Kim Yong Chol, Pyongyang's former spymaster who has served as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's counterpart in talks with the United States, arrived in the U.S. capital.

Tokyo says the South Korean destroyer's fire-control radar (STIR-180) locked onto a Japanese maritime patrol plane that was flying overhead for surveillance purposes.

Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol have met several times before, including in NY last May just before Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Singapore.

He reportedly has another letter from leader Kim Jong-un to Mr Trump.

Trump said later that he would be setting up a meeting with Kim "in the not-too-distant future" to restart talks about the North's nuclear programs.

South Korea does not just sit idly by and watch such a risky flight by any Japanese aircraft, a senior National Defense Ministry official was quoted as saying.

Presumably this meeting will attempt to plan the next summit between Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump, a summit that both leaders have publicly embraced, although it's nearly certainly going to be a venue for pursuing the complete, verifiable, and irreversible nuclear disarmament (CVID) that Pompeo insists must take place before sanctions are lifted.

According to a report published by The Chosunilbo in Seoul, the two sides - who have been engaged in bilateral negotiations since last year's historic Trump-Kim summit - may discuss "the agenda and venue of Kim's next summit with U.S. President Donald Trump".

After years of nuclear and ballistic missile tests through 2017, North Korea hasn't conducted a similar test for more than a year.

-North Korea negotiations start again seriously "and that a road map is clearly defined for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

The United States is considering partially easing sanctions on North Korea in exchange for the isolated nation discarding, or sending overseas, its ICBMs, in addition to the adoption of a "nuclear freeze", the USA talks with the South Korean government have shown, the Chosun Ilbo said, citing the source.

But his trip to Washington is viewed by some as a sign that the sides are getting closer to reaching an agreement regarding a second Trump-Kim Jong Un summit.

CNN quoted a source familiar with the U.S.

The Korea Mission Center at the Central Intelligence Agency and North Korea's United Front Department, which Kim Yong-chol heads, have played leading roles in U.S.

Observers say similar incidents could occur frequently as South Korea's liberal government pushes for deeper exchanges with North Korea.

South Korea's defense paper cited the summitry and diplomatic efforts saying North Korea agreed to establish a new relations with the USA and also to work toward "complete denuclearization" during the June summit with Trump.

CNN's Will Ripley reports that Kim Yong Chol will bring a response from Kim Jong-un to a personal note sent by Trump earlier.

During the administrations of conservative presidents, North Korea has been typically listed as an "enemy" or the "main enemy" only to be soften by liberal administrations.

The meeting was initially planned for last week but was postponed to later this week as the partial United States government shutdown, which began on December 22, continues, a ministry official said.

Hanoi is preparing to receive the North Korean leader for a state visit, two sources told Reuters, while officials and diplomats said Vietnam is keen to host a Trump-Kim summit.

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