Moscow invites N.Korea's Kim to visit

31 May, 2018, 20:08 | Author: Diane Mills
  • Russia says Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to visit N.Korea on May 31

The sources did not exclude that a positive result of Thursday's meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean official Kim Yong-chol in NY may add to Pyongyang and Washington signing an agreement on establishing bilateral diplomatic ties.

A high-ranking North Korean official arrived in NY on Wednesday after flying in from Beijing to hold talks with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as both sides accelerate the pace of preparations for a possible summit between their leaders.

Mr Pompeo, who spoke with Trump on Wednesday night and with national security adviser John Bolton early on Thursday, was accompanied by Andrew Kim, the head of a Central Intelligence Agency unit assigned to work on North Korea, and Mark Lambert, the head of the State Department's Korea desk. Kim was headed to NY for talks with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Trump last week pulled out of the summit with Kim, planned for June 12 in Singapore, before announcing he had reconsidered and that USA and North Korean officials were meeting to work out details.

In a dizzying turnaround less than a week after Trump announced the cancellation of the summit, Kim, the director of North Korea's United Front Department, which is responsible for inter-Korean relations, departed for NY from Beijing Wednesday. Finally, in the third step, North Korea eliminates its nuclear program and joins the non-proliferation treaty, redirecting its nuclear scientists and engineers to civilian programs.

"Looking forward to meeting with Kim Yong Chol in NY to discuss @Potus potential summit with Chairman Kim".

Kim's personal meeting with Lavrov was likely a move to try to secure Russia - along with China - as another powerful player that can push the United States to ease sanctions and make other concessions, said Anthony Rinna, a specialist in Korea-Russia relations at Sino-NK, a website that analyzes the region. Kim is the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit the U.S.in 18 years.

In Singapore, White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin was meeting with a North Korean team to work out the logistics of the summit.

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United States and North Korean envoys have also been meeting in Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea, and an American team is in Singapore to make logistical arrangements for the rapidly planned meeting. His portfolio includes North Korea's relationship with China and, lately, the United States.

North Korea's position going into the meetings with Pompeo was that a pledge of denuclearization alone should open the way to economic relief, said the official who briefed reporters earlier on Wednesday and spoke on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Trump said he was hopeful that his meeting with Mr. Kim could still take place on June 12 in Singapore, adding that resumed talks have gone very well and that the negotiations "are in good hands".

"If it happens, we'll certainly be ready", White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of plans for the summit.

The Trump administration, according to US officials, has left open the possibility of North Korea eventually getting USA aid and investments if Pyongyang agrees to complete denuclearization.

Kim, a four-star general and former head of North Korea's formidable espionage and special operations arm, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, has served all three of North Korea's Kims. "It doesn't mean it gets all done at one meeting".

"I want it to be meaningful", he added.

Cho delivered the sobering assessment as USA and North Korean officials resumed working-level talks aimed at closing that gap.

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