Key North Korea official in US to discuss upcoming summit

The North Korean official met with Miek Pompeo in New York to discuss the historic summit which will take place in the next few days 

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with North Korea’s Kim Yong Chole in New York (Photo: Getty Images)
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with North Korea’s Kim Yong Chole in New York (Photo: Getty Images)

Kim Jong-un’s right-hand man has met US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in New York to discuss the historic North Korea-US summit.

During the meeting, Gen Kim Yong-chol said that the North Koreans will have to lay out a disarmament plan in the next few days if the planned summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un is to go ahead  on schedule in two week’s time.

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 planned.

Preparations for the summit broke down last week over the insistence from leading US officials that North Korea would have to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme fully and rapidly before receiving any benefits, a position Pyongyang rejected as one-sided.

The US was looking for CVID, “complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation”, the official said, but did not specify the timing of such a process or whether it would have to be carried out all at once, or in phases.

“I think we are looking for something historic,” the official said. “I think we’re looking for something that has never been done before.”

On Wednesday evening, Pompeo and Gen Kim arrived separately at a building close to the UN headquarters.

Emerging later, Pompeo tweeted: "Good working dinner with Kim Yong Chol in New York tonight. Steak, corn, and cheese on the menu."

Ahead of the meeting, Pompeo had set out the US position.

North Korea has strongly objected to statements by Trump administration members comparing North Korean denuclearisation to Libya's.

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.

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