Kim Jong-un's Right-Hand Man 'to Visit U.S.'

  • By Cho Yi-jun, Ahn Jun-yong

    January 15, 2019 10:50

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's right-hand man is believed to be on his way to Washington to discuss the agenda and venue of Kim's next summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.

    A diplomatic source said U.S. State Secretary Mike Pompeo, who returned to the U.S. on Monday from a visit to the Middle East, will meet with Kim Yong-chol, the head of the North's United Front Department, later this week.

    The source added the meeting will take place in Washington, "so there is a strong chance of Kim Yong-chol meeting Trump."

    The U.S. and North Korea have yet to fix a time and place for the summit but are aiming for next month. Pompeo told CBS News on Sunday that the two sides are "working out" the details.

    "The U.S. has been discussing with the [South] Korean government the possibility of a partial easing of sanctions in exchange for North Korea giving up its intercontinental ballistic missiles and freezing its nuclear weapons development," the source said.

    The U.S. is gradually inching away from demands for full denuclearization in an attempt to get any result at all out of Trump's loudly trumpeted diplomatic engagement.

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