High-level diplomatic talks to finalize a 2nd summit between President Trump and NKorean leader Kim Jong Un are happening this week in Washington.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to meet former NKorean chief diplomat Kim Yong Chol at a Washington hotel Friday. The meeting will likely be followed by Chairman Kim’s visit to the White House, where he will meet with President Trump.
Neither the US nor NKorea has announced any meetings, although Kim Yong Chol arrived early Thursday in Beijing, where he was booked on a flight to the US.
A motorcade that included the NKorean ambassador’s car and a Chinese car with a sign reading “state guest” could be seen departing from a VIP area at the airport.
President Trump has spoken several times of having a 2nd Summit with Chairman Kim early this year and has exchanged multiple letters with the NKorean despite little tangible progress on a vague denuclearization agreement reached at their 1st meeting in Singapore last June. Since then, several private analysts have published reports detailing continuing NKorean development of nuclear and missile technology.
At a conference of US diplomats at the State Department Wednesday, Vice President Mike Pence acknowledged the lack of progress. He called the Trump-Kim dialogue “promising” but stressed that “we still await concrete steps by NKorea to dismantle the nuclear weapons that threaten our people and our allies in the region.”
A White House official, while not confirming plans for Friday’s meeting, said “a lot of positive things” are happening related to NKorea’s denuclearization. The official said President Trump and Chairman Kim had established a “good relationship” and that US-NKorea conversations were continuing.
The official said that President Trump “looks forward to meeting Chairman Kim again at their second summit at a place and time yet to be determined.”
Chairman Kim on a visit to Beijing last week said NKorea will pursue a 2nd Summit “to achieve results that will be welcomed by the international community,” according to China’s official Xinhua News Agency.