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North Korean Official Will Visit New York
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Kim Yong Chol. Photo courtesy of Time.

Summary: A North Korean official will visit the United States this week. 

A top North Korean official is heading to New York City to discuss a possible summit with its leader Kim Jung Un and American President, Donald Trump, according to NPR. Kim Jung Un and Trump were supposed to meet in mid-June, but Trump canceled after some alarming quotes from another North Korean official were shared on North Korean media.

  
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The visiting official, Kim Yong Chol, is the former head of military intelligence, and he is being flown to Beijing, China and booked on an Air China flight to New York. The plane will leave Wednesday.

According to NPR, “Kim Yong Chol is a veteran of diplomacy with South Korea who is considered to be Kim Jong Un’s right-hand man. He visited South Korea as part of the North Korean delegation to the Winter Olympics, which drew global attention after the dramatic shift from tension to rapprochement on the Korean Peninsula earlier this year.”

Trump confirmed the news on Tuesday, tweeting, “We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!”

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The North Korean visit was sparked after Trump canceled the June Summit last Thursday. That summit was slated to happen June 12 in Singapore.

Despite the cancellation, both parties said that they wanted to form a dialogue, and it appears that steps are being made. Reuters said that a rescheduled summit could happen as soon as next month, and it would likely take place in Singapore still.



“The United States continues to actively prepare for President Trump’s expected summit with leader Kim in Singapore,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said.

South Korean news outlets said that Kim Yong Chol wants Kim Jung Un to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who was hosted in North Korea earlier this month.

Kim Yong Chol’s visit will be the first time a senior North Korean official will meet with US officials since the year 2000 when Jo Myong Rok met then-President Bill Clinton, according to Reuters.

The US and North Korea have had issues for years, and the US sanctioned the Asian country in 2006 after it began testing nuclear weapons. The US has demanded that the country give up its nuclear program but the country has rejected the request. However, one top US official said that North Korea may change its mind and the purpose of the summit is to discuss denuclearization.

What do you think of North Korea? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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