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Washington continues to "actively prepare" for summit: Sanders

Washington continues to

The North Korean side is led by Kim Chang Son, who effectively serves as chief of staff to Kim Jong Un.

Trump will meet its Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in Washington on June 7, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

President Donald Trump has confirmed that top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol is heading to NY for talks on an upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Chung Sung-yoon, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification, said Kim Yong Chol would be the most senior North Korean on U.S. soil since Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok met then president Bill Clinton in 2000. It remained unclear whom Kim Yong-chol will meet in the United States.

"Our United States team has arrived in North Korea to make arrangements for the Summit between Kim Jong un and myself", Trump wrote on Sunday.

Kim Yong Chol was previously chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a top North Korean military intelligence agency, and has spent almost 30 years as a senior member of the intelligence community. Kim Yong-chol, vice-president of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea, boarded Air China flight CA981 to JFK airport in NY, a diplomatic source told Yonhap news agency.

In a sign of his importance, Trump announced Kim Yong Chol's NY trip on Twitter on Tuesday.

"It depends on how far the US and the North have gone in terms of setting the agenda, but there's no sign yet that President Moon would go", he said.

U.S. officials familiar with planning said Kim was scheduled to meet Pompeo on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.

Pompeo has traveled to Pyongyang, North Korea's capital, twice in recent weeks for meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, and has said there is a "shared understanding" between the two sides about what they hope to achieve.

The US and South Korea blacklisted Mr Kim Yong Chol for supporting the North's nuclear and missile programmes in 2010 and 2016, respectively.

Vice Chairman of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers' Party Kim Yong-chol is set to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Wednesday and Thursday to finalize the deal in which North Korea is expected to be guaranteed security in exchange for giving up its nuclear program.

A day later, Mr Trump said he had reconsidered, and officials from both countries were meeting to work out details.

Taking exception to the military exercises between South Korea and the US, North Korea had cancelled a high-level meeting with the South earlier this month and had also threatened to scrap the summit with US.

The planned visit is the latest in a group of diplomatic moves among countries with ties to the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons.

Last month the North's foreign minister Ri Yong Ho held rare talks with Lavrov in Moscow, part of a quickening effort to improve strained ties with global powers.

Schriver, assistant secretary of defense for Asian and Pacific security affairs, had accompanied Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Pyongyang earlier this month when three USA citizens were released.

The meeting was thrown into doubt after Mr Trump pulled out last week. Moon has insisted Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees. The South Korean President is hopeful that among the items discussed at the summit will be a definitive end to the Korean War. Kim is also a former intelligence chief for the North.



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