Kim Yong-chol already visited the United States last year. Two weeks later, on June 12, historic summit between the two leaders took place in Singapore. For Seoul, the future of inter-Korean programs depends on the meetings.
Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - North Korean negotiator Kim Yong-chol will arrive in Washington tomorrow to work with the US Secretary of State on the details of the second summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the American president Donald J. Trump.
South Korean diplomatic sources reported the news but there has been no official confirmations from Washington and Pyongyang. Nonetheless South Korean and US media corroborate the rumors circulated yesterday about two days of meetings.
Vice President of the Central Committee of the North Korean Workers' Party, Kim Yong-chol already visited the United States last year. Two weeks later, on June 12, the historic summit between the two leaders took place in Singapore. US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, should have met the North Korean envoy last November, but the meeting was canceled abruptly.
Kang Kyung-wha, South Korean foreign minister, said that there were contacts between Pyongyang and Washington, but he judged it "inappropriate" to comment on this. The minister said that the future of two major inter-Korean projects will depend on the Kim-Trump summit: the Kaesong industrial park and the Kumgang mountain resort complex.
Bound by am extensive network of sanctions against Pyongyang, the initiatives require "various aspects of revision". The future of cross-border programs, suspended due to previous tensions, has again attracted public attention following the New Year's speech by the North Korean leader. Kim said his regime is willing to restart projects without preconditions. Minister Kang clarified that South Korea is hoping for a "global" agreement on denuclearization and its "gradual" implementation.