Washington (May 31, 2018): A top North Korean official has arrived in New York, as Pyongyang and Washington work to see if a summit can still go forward between President Donald Trump and leader Kim Jong Un.
Kim Yong Chol landed at New York’s JFK International Airport according to a law enforcement source. Kim is in New York for talks with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, becoming the most senior North Korean official to visit the US since 2000.Pompeo and Kim will be discussing preparations for the on-again off-again summit between their leaders and will have dinner Wednesday night.
At the White House, press secretary Sarah Sanders said that the officials’ “conversation is going to be focused on denuclearization of the peninsula as well as the summit that will take place in Singapore.”
And she added that the administration is still aiming for a June 12 meeting. Referring to denuclearization, Sanders said that, “as long as that is part of the discussion, we’re going to focus on the June 12” date. “We are preparing and expect that to take place on June 12 and if not,” she said, “we’ll be ready on July 12.”Pompeo and Kim’s high-level discussions come as a US delegation extended its meetings with North Korean officials “for at least another day,” according to a source familiar with US-North Korean relations.
The US delegation, led by Philippines Ambassador Sung Kim, had been meeting their North Korean counterparts at the Demilitarized Zone since Monday.
Sanders said Wednesday the delegation’s talks along the Korean Demilitarized Zone have been “positive” and that preparation was continuing apace for the summit. “The readout from these meetings has been positive,” Sanders said.