President Donald Trump is looking for a breakthrough in North Korean nuclear negotiations and is considering meeting top official Kim Yong Chol while he is in town, a source familiar with the situation tells The Daily Caller.
Kim Yong Chol is scheduled to meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at 11 a.m. Friday. The North Korean general and politician is the lead negotiator with the U.S. over the North Korean nuclear program, after the extraordinary June 2018 summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.
Trump and Kim Jong Un have exchanged a series of private letters and Pompeo has made several trips to North Korea since the summit, though no landmark breakthrough has occurred. Tensions between the U.S. and North Korea prior to the summit appeared to reach an apex with the rogue state launching missiles into the surrounding oceans, and proving a likely ability to strike the U.S. homeland.
Kim Yong Chol met with Trump in the Oval Office in June 2018 and delivered a personal letter from Kim Jong Un to the president. Trump hailed the meeting as progress and repaired frayed talks, which appeared to indicate the impending summit would be canceled. (Related: Here’s What Trump And Kim Agreed Upon At The Summit)
The seven months since Trump and Kim Jong Un’s summit, however, have seen fizzled talks between the U.S. and North Korea with limited progress or agreements towards concrete denuclearization. Trump has hailed the results of the summit, but analysis shows that North Korea has not stopped nuclear production and has taken no steps towards destroying its nuclear arsenal.
The president has said repeatedly he hopes to have another summit with Kim Jong Un in due time, which may be the impetus for the possible meeting with Kim Yong Chol.