The Vice Chairman of North Korea, Kim Yong Chol on Wednesday arrived here, in a bid to revive the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un.
According to CNN, citing a law enforcement source, Chol landed in New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, becoming the most senior official from North Korea to touch American soil since 2000.
He is slated to meet US Secretary of Source Mike Pompeo over the preparations for the proposed June 12 summit later in the day. Both the leaders will meet again and have a state dinner.
Chol, considered to be the right-hand of Kim has participated in all recent high-level meetings with South Korea, including the inter-Korean summit on April 27.
He is also a former head of North Korea’s Reconnaissance Bureau, an espionage, and special operations organisation.
Chol is believed to have been involved in the massacre of 46 South Korean sailors in a torpedo attack, which sank the South Korean warship, ‘Cheonan’ in the Yellow Sea in 2010.
The latest flurry of diplomatic activities from the US came after Trump on May 24 had issued an official letter to Kim to call off the most awaited summit following the latter’s threats to do the same following the US-South Korea ‘Max’ military drills.
Earlier this month, North Korea also threatened to withdraw from the Trump talks if the US continued to insist Pyongyang abandon its nuclear programme.
However, on May 27, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met Kim once again at the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) said that the latter had reaffirmed his willingness to hold a summit with the US and was for the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.