July 02, 2018 13:07
U.S. and North Korean officials met for talks about denuclearization in the truce village of Panmunjom on Sunday prior to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's visit to Pyongyang this week.
Andrew Kim, the head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, and Sung Kim, a seasoned nuclear negotiator, talked with North Korean officials at the Tongilgak building on the northern side of Panmunjom.
They were spotted heading to Panmunjom by South Korean reporters and reportedly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's right-hand man Kim Yong-chol.
Pompeo plans to travel to Pyongyang on Friday, accompanied by both Andrew Kim and Sung Kim. The U.S. side is demanding that North Korea take tangible and substantial steps toward denuclearization.
Pompeo is expected to discuss the dismantlement of a missile engine test site in Tongchang-ri. The U.S. also hopes to wind up the process of repatriating the remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the Korean War during his visit.
The U.S. sent about 100 wooden caskets to Panmunjom on June 23 to carry their remains back home, but the North has not taken them over yet.
"It seems that the North is waiting until Pompeo's visit," a source said. "It's highly likely that the North will try to get the best value out of it in return for handing soldiers' remains over as a gift to him."
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