Key North Korea official meets Pompeo in New York
Until recently, Kim Yong-chol (left) was blacklisted in the United States
The right-hand man to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
has met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York to discuss a
Gen Kim Yong-chol dined with Mr Pompeo after flying in
from China, and the two are due to meet again on Thursday.
He is the most senior North Korean to visit the US in
nearly 20 years.
US President Donald Trump cancelled the 12 June
summit, but both sides have since made fresh efforts to hold it as
Scheduled to happen in Singapore, the historic meeting
between Mr Trump and Kim Jong-un would be the first between sitting US
and North Korean leaders.
what do we know of the
They met in an apartment on New York's East Side
On Wednesday evening, Mr Pompeo and Gen Kim arrived
separately at a building close to the UN headquarters.
Emerging later, Mr Pompeo tweeted: "Good working
dinner with Kim Yong Chol in New York tonight. Steak, corn, and cheese
on the menu."
Ahead of the meeting, Mr Pompeo had set out the US
North Korea has strongly objected to statements by
Trump administration members comparing North Korean denuclearisation to
Former Libyan leader Colonel Gaddafi gave up his
nuclear programme only for him to be killed by Western-backed rebels a
few years later.
Further talks are planned for Thursday.
What other talks are going on?
North Korea's Deputy Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui is
continuing to meet Sung Kim, a former US ambassador to South Korea, at
Panmunjom on the border between the two Koreas.
These talks have been continuing since Sunday with
some long breaks.
The two diplomats have faced one another before during
previous denuclearisation negotiations.
In Singapore itself, a US team led by White House
official Joe Hagin is thought to be meeting Kim Chang-son, the de facto
chief of staff to the North Korean leader, to talk about logistics.
And Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov has arrived
in Pyongyang for talks. He told Russian media he wanted to understand
North Korea's position.
Mr Lavrov also spoke to Mr Pompeo for the first time
on Wednesday, by phone.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed the US
and North Korean leaders still planned to meet next month.
"As the president says, if it happens, we'll certainly
be ready," she said.
Salvaging a summit?
By Barbara Plett Usher, BBC state department
correspondent in New York
Just months ago the idea that this powerful North
Korean official could visit New York was unthinkable. Until recently Kim
Yong-chol was blacklisted in the US.
A senior state department official said he and Mr
Pompeo were trying to get to know each other after initial meetings in
Pyongyang earlier this year.
But he also said they needed to reduce the gap between
them over the extent and pace of nuclear disarmament before the summit
could go ahead. He also acknowledged that the US had to find a way to
convince the North Korean leadership it would be secure without such
But this high-level meeting shows that President Trump
and Kim Jong-un want the summit to take place, and therefore many
believe these two men will find a way to make it happen.
Courtesy : BBC News
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