SEOUL – A senior North Korean official made a stop in Beijing on Thursday while on his way to Washington, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported.
Yonhap reported Kim Yong-chol is scheduled to meet with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and President Donald Trump to discuss plans for a fresh North Korea-US summit.
The North Korean reportedly has a ticket on United Airlines flight 808, which departs 6:25 pm local time (1015 GMT) on Thursday. The flight is scheduled to land at Washington’s Dulles Airport at 6:50 pm local time on Thursday (2350 GMT).
He will be accompanied by two North Korean officials: the United Front Department’s tactical office director Kim Song-hye and Choe Kang-il, acting director-general for the foreign ministry’s North American affairs.
Kim Yong-chol is reportedly carrying a personal letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un for Trump, according to Yonhap.
Kim Yong-chol visited Washington in June last year when he met Pompeo and Trump to chalk out the first summit between the heads of the United States and North Korea.
In that June 12 summit, the US and North Korea agreed to work towards the denuclearization of the North Korean regime in return for security guarantees from Washington.
Little progress has been achieved since then, due to the lack of a clear roadmap.
Washington urged Pyongyang to take concrete steps towards denuclearization, but the regime demanded that sanctions be lifted and a peace treaty be signed between two Koreas first.