Kim Yong-chol: N Korea leader Kim Jong-un's right hand man

Ivanka Trump and Kim Yong Chol of the North Korea delegation attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics

Ivanka Trump and Kim Yong Chol of the North Korea delegation attend the closing ceremony of the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics

At the same time, a "pre-advance" United States team was in Singapore to meet the North Koreans and the White House announced on Tuesday that Mr Trump would meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on June 7.

The announcement comes a day after the White House described the summit as "expected" in a readout of a call between Trump and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

After President Donald Trump canceled the June 12 summit with Kim last week, the U.S. Treasury Department readied "nearly three-dozen sanction targets, including Russian and Chinese entities, according to two administration officials", per the report.

"The United States continues to actively prepare for President Trump's expected summit with leader Kim in Singapore", she said.

Planning for the historic summit, initially scheduled for June 12, appears to be moving ahead after the United States president called it off last week.

President Trump confirmed the news of Kim Yong Chol's trip to the United States early Tuesday, tweeting: "We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea".

The White House said he would meet US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later in the week.

Kim Chang Son was seen at Beijing airport Tuesday and, asked by Japanese reporters if he was heading to Singapore for talks with USA officials, he said he was "going there to play".

US President Donald Trump is yet to confirm on the summit.

Kim Yong-chol was one of the officials who accompanied the North Korean leader in his May 26 summit with Moon at the Panmunjom and also led the North Korean delegation to the South during the Olympic closing ceremony.




The three-way summit, if held, will likely be aimed at providing a security guarantee for North Korea in exchange for its denuclearization. During that period North Korea ramped up its hacking programs, including a hugely costly penetration of Sony Pictures.

Given these North Korean concessions, a renewed USA attempt to implement even harsher economic sanctions will probably not find support in the United Nations or in the region.

The U.S. officials are led by Sung Kim, the U.S. ambassador to Manila, who formerly was the U.S. ambassador to Seoul and a top negotiator with North Korea in past nuclear talks. On Saturday, North and South Korea met for a second time at the demilitarized zone that separates the two countries, with South Korean president Moon Jae-in and the North Korean leader spending two hours talking face to face.

It all started in February at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, when South Koreans and North Koreans walked under one united flag for the first time in history.

On May 24 he told Kim Jong-un: "I was very much looking forward to being there with you".

Kim Yong Chol is officially vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea's all-powerful Workers' Party.

Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief. There will be no similar media events at the village until after June 12, the possible date of the summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un, according to the command.

On Tuesday, the North's state-run newspaper called on the U.S. to call off joint military exercises with South Korea, again contradicting Seoul's earlier statements on Pyongyang's stance.

Another track is the original intelligence channel, and there is keen interest to see if there is a follow-up high-level meeting between Pompeo and North Korea's Kim Yong-chol.

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